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BAA: Airlines are locating services outside the UK amid capacity constraints at London Heathrow

19-Apr-2012 10:18 AM

UK's BAA CEO Colin Matthews, at the Transport Times Conference, stated (18-Apr-2012) research shows "foreign airlines are ready to vote with their feet and base new flights outside of the UK because of a lack of Government policy supporting aviation". A survey by the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK), which represents 84 scheduled airlines, shows more than half (53%) either have located or are preparing to locate flights in other countries that they say would have come to the UK if there was spare capacity at London Heathrow Airport. 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 results suggest that the UK is handing the thousands of jobs and millions of pounds worth of trade which would come with extra flights to our European competitors and show the urgent need for new hub airport capacity," BAA said. Mr Matthews argued "whatever the long-term solution to UK hub airport capacity, the Government will need to consider short and medium-term options for growth at Heathrow if the UK is not to lose its status as a global aviation hub. The survey supports the recent research by Frontier Economics that found there were 21 emerging market destinations with daily services from other European hubs that were not served with a daily served from Heathrow." [more - original PR]

BAA: “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. 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," Colin Matthews, CEO. Source: Company statement, 18-Apr-2012. 

BAR UK: “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," Mike Carrivick, CEO. Source: Company statement, 18-Apr-2012.