EasyJet has won a High Court application for a judicial review of airport charges at Gatwick after refusing to pay an increase in prices this year.
Lawyers for the airline argued the Civil Aviation Authority, which sets the charges at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted, had disregarded a Competition Commission finding against “bonus payments” for airport operator BAA.
BAA increased charges at Gatwick from £5.61 to £6.79 per passenger this spring and the airport’s owner will be allowed to raise prices a further 2% a year plus inflation for the next five years.
High Court judge Mr Justice Collins said he was “just persuaded” EasyJet had an arguable case.
BAA put Gatwick up for sale in the summer after the Competition Commission gave notice it intends to order the operator to sell Gatwick, Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh.
Virgin Atlantic confirmed on Friday that it is interested in joining a consortium to bid for Gatwick. EasyJet ruled itself out of any bid, but said it would consider making a long-term commitment on capacity to a suitable bidder.