London Heathrow Airport
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- United Kingdom
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London Stansted Airport
- 3902m x 50m
3658m x 45m
- Airlines currently operating to this airport with scheduled services
- Aegean Airlines
Air New Zealand
All Nippon Airways
Azerbaijan Airlines AZAL
China Eastern Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Delta Air Lines
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
LOT Polish Airlines
Middle East Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines
Royal Air Maroc
Royal Brunei Airlines
South African Airways
Virgin Atlantic Airways
- Airlines currently operating to this airport via codeshare
- Air Seychelles
Rossiya - Russian Airlines
Ukraine International Airlines
Owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings (previously BAA), London Heathrow Airport is a major international airport, the principal international gateway serving the city of London and (depending on measure used) the world's busiest international airport. One of the largest and busiest airports in the world and hosting domestic, regional and international passenger and cargo services for over 50 airlines, Heathrow is a hub for airlines such as British Airways, the oneworld alliance, Virgin Atlantic and the Star Alliance.
Location of London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom
Ground Handlers servicing London Heathrow Airport
2,006 total articles
172 total articles
Emirates Airline carried 15% additional passengers in the first half of 2013/2014 compared to a year ago. The growth in volume has been led by Europe and the Middle East while Australia has seen the highest percentage growth. Saudi Arabia, the UK and Thailand have received some of the largest capacity injections. India and the UK remain Emirates' two largest markets based on seat capacity, but Saudi Arabia has overtaken Germany as the third-largest while Australia overtook the US, and Thailand overtook South Africa.
In terms of the rate of growth, the standouts were Portugal, Vietnam and Zambia – all with 100%-plus growth, albeit from a low base. But Emirates saw 40-50% growth in seven other countries, including Australia, Saudi Arabia and France.
Overall, 15% passenger growth and 16% capacity growth for an airline the size of Emirates is a considerable achievement. Full year capacity growth, however, is likely to be closer to 12%, making 2013/2014 one of the slower years at Emirates in recent times. Asia will be the largest market for growth, followed by Europe and the Middle East.
The UK’s Airports Commission, tasked with looking into the need for additional UK airport capacity, has reached an important provisional conclusion. On 7-Oct-2013, the Commission’s Chairman Sir Howard Davies said: “We will need some net additional runway capacity in the south east of England in the coming decades”. Relying only on existing runways would “produce a distinctly sub-optimal solution for passengers, connectivity and the economy”.
Meanwhile, campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion is seeking to launch a legal challenge to the Commission’s work. This is on the grounds that one of the Commission’s former members, ex-CEO of Manchester Airports Group Geoff Muirhead, who stepped down in Sep-2013, may have been able to influence it in MAG’s favour.
This illustrates one of the difficulties in making decisions about future airport capacity. Whatever its final recommendations in 2015, it will be impossible to reconcile the different views of national politicians, local politicians, airlines, airports, environmental campaigners and NIMBY-ism (‘not in my back yard’). Nevertheless, the UK’s future as a global aviation hub demands that a clear decision be taken.
The UK CAA’s mind-numbingly long and complex review of airport charges at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted is almost complete. In the five-yearly process, the regulator consults with airports and airlines. It publishes proposals and amends proposals, trying to reconcile the irreconcilable.
Between 2007 and 2012, aeronautical income per passenger at Heathrow almost doubled; at Gatwick it rose by more than two thirds; and at Stansted it grew by 43%. They all beat the 14% increase in the UK’s Retail Price Index over this period. Airlines now want prices to fall, while airports seek further increases to pay for planned capital expenditure and to reward investors.
The usual result of the review is that neither side is pleased. After the publication on 3-Oct-2013 of the CAA’s ‘final’ proposals for price caps from 2014 to 2019, the usual result looks likely again at Heathrow. At Gatwick, the CAA might just find common ground between the two sides. At Stansted, it seems the regulator has been by-passed entirely. Final decisions are due in Jan-2014.
Delta Air Lines' recent outlining of planned expansion from Seattle to Seoul and Hong Kong reflects its continuing strategy of building the airport into an international gateway partially in partnership with Alaska Air Group, Seattle’s largest carrier. Delta has been steadily expanding its operations in Seattle during the last couple of years, a market it may deem more suitable for growing further into Asia than some of its existing hubs – evidenced by the transition of service to Hong Kong from Detroit to Seattle.
Largely absent from Delta’s discussion in the latest Asian expansion from Seattle is any cooperation with SkyTeam partner Korean Air, who has ample service from Seattle to Seoul.
Delta’s silence could be illustrative of a logic that alliances are not a cure all for network optimisation that became especially pronounced during 2012 with the landmark deal between Emirates and Qantas, Air France’s forging of a partnership with Etihad and Delta tabling plans to take a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic. Those two carriers recently won the US Department of Transportation’s (DoT) approval to forge a trans-Atlantic joint venture whose launch will coincide with Delta’s introduction of Seattle-London Heathrow in Mar-2014.
On 16-Sep-2013, Ryanair announced a 10 year agreement with Manchester Airport Group (MAG), the new owner of Stansted Airport, to add more than 50% to its 2012 traffic base of 13.2 million passengers and carry more than 20 million passengers per annum at the airport.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary sounded very happy with the change of management at Stansted, where tariff increases under the previous owner led to a 27% fall in total passenger numbers from 2007 to 2012: “This agreement… proves how UK airports can flourish when released from the dead hand of the BAA monopoly and is the first dramatic initiative by MAG to reverse 7 years of decline”.
In this report, we examine the relationship between Ryanair, which is Stansted’s largest airline, and Stansted, which is Ryanair’s largest airport. In a separate report, we will look at recent indications by Ryanair that it wants to be more customer friendly and consider how this fits in with its passenger growth targets.
In early Jul-2013, Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller declared that the carrier was “back to growth mode” (Financial Times, 4-Jul-2013), driven by Atlantic expansion. After 13% capacity growth on the Atlantic in 2013, Aer Lingus is planning a remarkable 24% growth in 2014. An important element of this growth involves attracting transfer traffic originating in the UK regions away from London Heathrow, building on Dublin’s geographic position and growing North American connectivity.
There are to be new routes from Dublin to San Francisco and Toronto and increased frequencies from Shannon to New York and Boston. A significant part of the new capacity will be operated under wet-lease by ASL Aviation Group. An important proportion of Aer Lingus’ regional feed from the UK into Dublin is also operated by a third party (Aer Arann) and Aer Lingus itself operates short-haul flights for Virgin Atlantic.
With these moves Aer Lingus appears to be testing and developing the concept of a virtual airline.
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