Board of Airline Representatives urges action to increase Heathrow capacity
In its submission to the Airports Commission on making the best use of UK airport capacity in the short-to-medium term, the Board of Airline Representatives have pointed out that airlines are only experiencing capacity problems at Heathrow. Not at other airports. A survey completed by 51 of its members found 74.5% (38 airlines) had not experienced capacity problems at any UK airport other than Heathrow, while 23.5% (12 airlines) had not sought capacity at other airports. The BAR said 51% of respondents (25 airlines) said that in the past 2 years they had certainly or probably diverted flights or capacity to other countries or destinations, rather than to other UK airports, because of Heathrow’s slot constraints. Also 47.8% (22 airlines) said they were most likely to operate additional flights to another international hub or destination, rather than to another UK airport, while Heathrow remained full. The BAR says: ‘Airlines are choosing to fly to hub airports and that is where the UK must take action for the sake of the entire UK economy.’
The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) is the industry association that promotes the business interests of scheduled airlines with a UK operation or representation.
With over 80 airline members, BAR UK presents the widest voice of airlines and brings a vital international perspective to issues facing the industry.
We are actively involved in any industry issues that collectively affect our members including taxation, regulation and capacity. Our roles include engaging with a host of stakeholders, including senior government ministers, government departments, regulators and airport operators.
Liaison is also maintained with other industry associations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), British Air Transport Association (BATA) and the Airport Operators’ Association (AOA).
AIRLINES ONLY NEED ADDITIONAL HUB AIRPORT CAPACITY
The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) claims most carriers are only interested in flying to hub airports.
17 May 2013 (Board of Airline Representatives)
In its submission to the Airports Commission [they do not publicise their submission] on making best use of airport capacity in the short to medium term, the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) says that airlines are only experiencing capacity problems at Heathrow.
In a survey completed by 51 members, 74.51% (38 airlines) have not experienced capacity problems at any UK airport other than Heathrow while 23.53% (12 airlines) have not sought capacity at other airports.
Over half the airlines (51.02%, 25 airlines) have certainly, or probably, diverted flights or capacity to other countries or destinations, rather than to other UK airports in the past two years, because of Heathrow’s slot constraints.
A further 47.83% (22 airlines) state that they are most likely to operate additional flights to another international hub or destination, rather than to another UK airport, whilst Heathrow remains full.
Dale Keller, chief executive, said “Our survey confirms what we have been saying all along, that it cannot be assumed that additional flights will be operated from other UK airports where space is not available at the Heathrow hub. It is hard to see how the Airports Commission can solve anything in the short to medium term when the reality is, that airlines are already free to grow at other UK airports whenever sufficient consumer demand exists to make each route commercially viable.
“What seems to be missing in this debate is that an airport is an unmoveable asset and it is the airlines and their route networks that bring the tarmac and terminals to life and create a hub.
“Airlines are choosing to fly to hub airports and that is where the UK must take action for the sake of the entire UK economy.”
This is the list of the BAR UK airline members – the majority of which, by definition, are not from the UK. They therefore mainly use Heathrow, so their comments are not surprising.
Last week, the Airports Commission released its fourth consultation paper into aviation capacity, which set out the pros and cons of the UK having a single ‘hub’ airport.
BAR UK represents 80 scheduled airlines, including Air France, American Airlines, British Airways, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.