Heathrow promises to increase domestic flights in bid for expansion

23 March 2015 (Last Updated March 23rd, 2015 18:30)

Heathrow has promised to introduce more flights to regional airports in the UK and invest £10m on starting new domestic routes if it wins the expansion bid.

heathrow

Heathrow has promised to introduce more flights to regional airports in the UK and invest £10m on starting new domestic routes if it wins the expansion bid.

According to a statement released by the airport, the proposed measures would give a boost to the seven existing routes, offering the potential for better timed and more frequent flights. This will lead to direct connectivity to around 16 regional airports.

The announcement comes in the midst of the war between Heathrow and Gatwick, both of whom are contesting for a grant from the government for expansion.

"Expanding Heathrow could deliver close to 80,000 jobs and up to £114 billion of GDP outside London and the South East."

Apart from the introduction of new routes, the airport said it would review its charges to help keep existing domestic routes attractive for airlines from January 2016.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: "Expanding Heathrow could deliver close to 80,000 jobs and up to £114 billion of GDP outside London and the South East.

"We have been listening to businesses, politicians and now to the National Connectivity Task Force, and today's announcement shows that we have a plan to deliver what Britain needs. Only Heathrow can connect all of Britain to global growth. That's why we are best for Britain and backed by Britain. Let's get on with it."

The airport said it would partner with UK airports, LEPs, Chambers of Commerce, national and regional governments to establish new domestic routes through Heathrow.

It has also committed to work with government to re-designate public service obligation (PSO) routes to Heathrow, the only airport that can connect them to and through London to growth markets across the globe; and work with any organisation that wants to operate Northolt as a satellite runway for UK routes until Heathrow is expanded.

Flybe CEO Saad Hammadsaid: "Flybe welcomes the commitment of Heathrow to enhance regional connectivity both within current runway capacity constraints and in the event of new runway development. As the UK's largest regional airline, operating Flybe services from 37 UK airports, we are in a prime position to connect the country via Heathrow.

"Our national hub in the South East must address the needs of all the nations and regions of the UK not just those living within the boundary of the M25. Key to this is an airport pricing regime that encourages regional connectivity alongside guaranteed slot availability for regional connecting services."


Image: If the airport wins the expansion bid, Heathrow has promised to increase its regional connectivity. Photo: courtesy of Heathrow Airports Limited.