Stansted plans bring row with airlines

Hotel News - 04/04/2006

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The planned expansion at Stansted airport could leave customers caught in the middle of a row between flight companies and authorities at the hub, with a new report claiming that airlines may have to foot the bill for construction costs.

An investigation by the Daily Telegraph claims that charges on airlines could be tripled by BAA, which owns the gateway, to help meet the £4 billion costs of a new runway.

However, the airlines responded with hostility to the prospect, accusing the British Airports Authority (BAA) of raising charges as a defensive move to head off the takeover bid from Spanish company Grupo Ferrovial.

Jim Callaghan, Ryanair's head of regulatory affairs, said he was 'praying' for a change of ownership at BAA to avert the impact of expensive development plans.

'BAA's plans are massively, blatantly gold-plated. There is just no reason to build the type of facilities they are planning,' he informed the Daily Telegraph.

With consumers having had to meet the costs of extra airline expenses in the past, travellers can offset any new journey charges by checking out the cheapest deals in Stansted airport hotels online.

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