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Heathrow calls for air passenger duty to be invested in biofuels

Heathrow Airport has recommended that targets be set for the use of sustainable biofuels and is urging the UK government to use air passenger duty for investment in such fuels.

The call came as the airport operator reported results for the first six months of the year. Revenue was up 4% at £1.46 billion ($1.79 billion), while EBITDA rose 1.5% to £900 million.

Heathrow says it supported the UK's aim to reach net-zero carbon by 2050 and says ICAO should set targets for the use of biofuels in aviation.

"We also call on the government to invest some of the nearly £4 billion annual revenue raised from air passenger duty to scale up production of sustainable fuels," it adds.

The financial results were driven by increased passenger numbers at the London hub. They rose 1.8% in the first half, to 38.8 million.

Heathrow is sticking with a forecast for adjusted EBITDA to increase 4.1% to £1.9 billion this year.

However, the airport is facing the spectre of strike action over the summer period.

Trade union Unite, representing over 4,000 workers at Heathrow, plans to stage a series of strikes, beginning on 26-27 July, unless progress is made in talks with conciliation service Acas over a pay dispute.

"We are implementing contingency plans to ensure the airport remains open and operating safely throughout any co-ordinated action," says the airport.

Talks will continue today.

Meanwhile, pilot union BALPA said on 22 July that members had voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in their pay dispute with Heathrow-based British Airways. No strike dates have yet been disclosed and the high court is to decide today on whether to award an injunction requested by BA to stop any strikes.

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