24-Jan-2011 12:13 PM

Virgin Atlantic opposes Thames estuary solution

Virgin Atlantic CEO, Steve Ridgway, stated London Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans to build a new airport in the Thames estuary is “economically misguided and would be impossible to build” (Financial Times, 23-Jan-2011). Mr Johnson has recently increased pressure on the coalition government to reconsider its opposition to new airport construction and airport expansion in the south-east. Mr Ridgeway stated that although he “doesn’t want to see the UK economy disadvantaged by inadequate infrastructure”, he does not support the Thames estuary solution.

Virgin Atlantic: “It [the construction of the Thames Estuary Airport] is very noble but it’s just not do-able or deliverable and it’s the wrong side of where the locus of the economy is … Hong Kong did it but we could never do that with the south-east being so congested … We’ve had 60 years of Heathrow being the number one airport and being the number one international airport. Realistically, if you had your time again you probably wouldn’t put it there, but the fact is it is there and it’s driven the whole shape of the UK economy.” Steve Ridgway, CEO. Source: Financial Times, 23-Jan-2011.

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