EasyJet is Gatwick’s principle carrier with nearly 10 million passengers and a near 30% market share.
Commenting on the sale of Gatwick Airport to GIP, easyJet’s Chief Executive Andy Harrison said: “We welcome this change in ownership and look forward to working with GIP. Regardless of who owns Gatwick, it is still a monopoly. Therefore it is vital that Gatwick is properly regulated to protect airline passengers from the new owners exploiting their market power. It is vital that the Government’s review of airport regulation produces a tougher and more effective system than the current discredited one which has contributed so much to the poor sate of London’s airports.“
The Competition Commission concluded in its report on BAA of March 2009 that “a more effective regulatory system is necessary”.
Due to the lack of an effective regulatory system, in 2008 BAA managed to get regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Authority for a 50% increase in airport charges at Gatwick over a five year period, despite the fact that there will be no new runways and no new terminals.
easyJet sought a Judicial Review of that CAA decision. The case is currently before the Court of Appeal and a decision is likely towards the end of the year.