Budget carrier Easyjet claims its air fares could be cut by nearly a third if a new runway is built at Heathrow.

The airline says a third runway would allow more low-cost carriers to operate from the airport and that increased competition on existing UK and European routes from Heathrow will help drive prices down as legacy carriers battle their budget counterparts for passengers.

Easyjet claims its prices are around 30 per cent lower than legacy carriers when it enters an airport.

The carrier has been working with Heathrow to ensure a certain set of conditions will be met in order for it operate there if a third runway is built.

Easyjet says its requirements include a 25-minute aircraft turnaround time and the ability to board and disembark passengers from both aircraft doors using stairs rather than a single jet bridge. The airline says this saves time.

Statistics show that the number of UK destinations served by Heathrow has fallen from 14 to eight since 2000, while the number of seats on European flights has dropped by 13 per cent.

Low-cost carriers could launch new routes to destinations not currently served by Heathrow, according to Easyjet.

Parliament is set to vote on the third runway in the coming weeks after plans were approved by Cabinet ministers last week.

Luton-based Easyjet is urging MPs to vote in favour of the runway

Speaking at the Heathrow Connectivity Conference, Robert Carey, chief commercial and strategy officer at Easyjet, said an expanded Heathrow will benefit the whole of the UK.

He commented: “This expansion would enable low-cost airlines like Easyjet to operate from Heathrow – in addition to existing London bases – allowing them to provide new routes and increased competition on dozens more UK and European routes.

“We look forward to engaging with the UK’s regional airports and their governments and other local organisations to work out which regions will enjoy the largest growth in passenger demand and economic benefits from new connections to Heathrow and the rest of the world.”

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