The Heathrow Airport Limited group, which manages the airport, is negotiating with the UK government a plan to overcome the crisis in which it is involved as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, reported Expansión newspaper last week. Heathrow Airport Limited is controlled by a consortium led by Ferrovial with a 25% stake, Qatar Investment (20% of the capital), Caisse du Quebec (12.62%) and Singapore’s GIC fund (11.2%). The partners have already activated new urgent lines of financing for a total of 850 million euros. The newspaper flags that Heathrow wants to increase prices, and the regulatory body (CAA) is receptive to the request. But it wants the dividend cut to shareholders to be extended.
That increase in prices could be as much as £1.2 more per passenger, which would be passed on directly to the airlines. This would be 5% more than the normal review that has to be carried out from 2022 onwards.
For its part, the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) appreciates that shareholders have suspended dividend for 2020 and 2021. The CAA also welcomes the fact that shareholders have resorted to various intra-group refinancing mechanisms to provide Heathrow with 750 million pounds (850 million euros) in order to maintain its operations, though at a low level.
According to Bankinter:
“If the news is confirmed, it would allow the airport to accelerate the recovery from the pandemic, the readjustment of its balance sheet and the repayment of the 850 million euros loan to shareholders. However, the decision is still up in the air and we give it a low probability of success. The measure would mean increasing costs to another sector also affected by the virus: Airlines.”