The boss of All Nippon Airways has given his backing to a third runway at Heathrow to tackle congestion and lower the cost of take-off and landing slots.

President and chief executive Shinichiro Ito told the Daily Telegraph: “To have a convenient and large airport in a major city like London is very beneficial for the city; we think it would be better to expand Heathrow.

“The desirable outcome for us is to increase one more runway at Heathrow.

“When we needed to get the new route to Heathrow we needed to buy the slot. That is rather expensive and that is one of our burdens.”

ANA flies between Tokyo Narita airport and Heathrow and is due to start new direct flights between London and the Japanese capital’s second airport, Haneda.

Ito suggested that ANA would have liked an extra slot at Heathrow but congestion meant it was not possible.

“When we have the Heathrow-Haneda slot we will see an increase in capacity,” he said. “The Heathrow route is very profitable for us and as a facility Heathrow is a very good one, but very congested.”

Meanwhile, Ito said that compensation negotiations between Boeing and ANA over problems with the 787 Dreamliner problems were close to completion.