Airlines 'shun UK over Heathrow'

 

World airlines are shunning the UK due to capacity constraints at Heathrow Airport, according to a survey.

As many as 53% of scheduled airlines have either decided to, or are preparing to, base flights in other countries than the UK because of Heathrow's lack of capacity, the poll showed.

And 86% of airlines said they would put on more flights to the UK if additional take-off and landing slots were available at Heathrow, the survey from the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) revealed.

The survey results are being released today at a transport conference in London by Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA, which runs Heathrow.

He is one of the airline and industry chiefs anxious for the Government to reverse its policy and give the go-ahead for expansion at Heathrow.

In a speech at the London conference today, Mr Matthews will say: "These figures show that it is a mistake to believe that flights displaced from Heathrow will automatically fly to Stansted, Gatwick or Birmingham instead.

"The message I hear from airlines is clear: if there's no room at Heathrow then flights will move out of the UK altogether."

He went on: "Instead of Britain taking the lead in forging new links with growing economies like China, we are handing economic growth to our competitors by turning away airlines who want to bring jobs, growth and trade to the UK."

Mike Carrivick, chief executive of BAR UK, which represents 84 scheduled airlines, said: "UK business leaders should be very concerned about the restrictions on reaching new markets at such a critical time in the UK recovery effort.

"The survey's results are a chilling reminder that the Government must act decisively, and soon, in the national interest. Restricting capacity at key airports to the same level as the last decade is actively encouraging airlines and trade to go elsewhere."

Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers said: "We recognise the importance of maintaining Britain's position as one of the best-connected countries in the world.

"That is why the Chancellor committed us to exploring all the options for maintaining the UK's aviation hub status, with the exception of a third runway at Heathrow.

"We are also pressing ahead with action to improve the way our airports operate today, with modernisation of economic regulation, aviation security and airspace management.

"The debate on the long-term transport needs of the economy is immensely important and I would urge everyone in the industry to take part when we publish our forthcoming consultations on a sustainable future for aviation."

Speaking at the London conference today Katja Hall, the CBI's chief policy director, said: "The 11 major policy reviews on airport capacity since the last full-length runway was opened in the south of England in 1948 illustrate the degree of political challenge here. But the consequences of this indecision can no longer be ignored.

"The UK is becoming a branch-line destination on the route map of global airlines. This is a damaging break in the UK's export chain, and its consequences are a real concern for businesses across the country.

"We need to act now to ensure the UK remains a world-class business destination, and lay a key building block for achieving increased trade with high growth economies."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower