London Heathrow Airport flight slots 'available to all airlines'
Fri, 16 Oct, 2009
London Heathrow Airport flight slots are open to any operator, according to British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh.
Speaking to the International Aviation Club, Mr Walsh dismissed claims that slots at London Heathrow Airport would not be made available to airlines not currently operating services from the site.
The US-EU Open Skies agreement, which was made in 2008, means that any US or EU airline can now operate flights from London Heathrow Airport to America.
"As soon as it came into effect, the number of operators flying between Heathrow and the US more than doubled," Mr Walsh said.
He argued similar rules should apply to flights in America, where alliances Star and Skyteam hold an effective duopoly on airport flights.
British Airways recently announced a two-year pay freeze for cabin crew staff, as the airline bids to cut costs.
Trade union Unite, which is representing the workers, has not ruled out the possibility of strike action affecting London Heathrow Airport, where British Airways operates many of its flights.