Ditch new London airport plan: IATA

Airline industry group IATA has come out in support of developing London Heathrow over rival proposals to provide hub capacity in the south east of the UK.

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It said that Heathrow – a vital component of the UK’s economy supporting 220,000 jobs and £11 billion in economic activity – desperately needs new capacity to support the needs of London as a global capital.

“The UK is falling behind in connectivity. London has less frequent links to 27 emerging market destinations than the daily connections offered from continental European hubs. If the UK wants to do business with these developing markets, air connectivity is the enabler,” said IATA chief Tony Tyler.

He noted that London has no non-stop services to some developing markets such as Manila, Jakarta, Santiago and the Chinese cities of Chengdu, Shenyang and Guangzhou, although daily services exist from continental European hubs.

Proposals have been floated to address the need for more capacity by building a new airport to serve the London region. Such a project would be enormously expensive and politically uncertain. “For a fraction of the cost of building a new airport, the UK could get all the additional capacity needed to ensure that Heathrow continues as a great aviation hub and without the economic dislocation of moving 220,000 jobs that depend on Heathrow” Tyler said.

IATA forecasts indicate that 205 million people will travel to or from the UK in 2015, accounting for about one in every seven international air travelers. “The Government needs to make Heathrow’s expansion a priority in a competitive new UK aviation policy so that the UK can realize the economic benefits of connectivity and continue to punch above its weight globally,” Tyler said.

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One Response to Ditch new London airport plan: IATA

  1. David Mclean says:

    Please hurry up and approve the third runway at Heathrow. International travellers and airlines want to arrive in West London, it’s as simple as that. Nobody wants to land in a “hub” that happens to be in the middle of nowhere.