BA fears cuts to early morning Heathrow flights before 7am – says cuts would have “dramatic impact” on business travellers
British Airways wants to keep as many flights into Heathrow in the early morning as it can. It is saying it does not want restrictions on flights before 7am. BA’s head of sales and marketing Richard Tams said any further restrictions on landings at Heathrow between 04.30 and 07.00 each day could have a “dramatic impact on business travellers.” Currently only 16 flights are allowed to land at Heathrow between 04.30 and 06.00 with a total of 65 take-offs and landings allowed between 06.00 and 07.00 each day. The current night flights regime will remain in place till October 2017. BA says “These early morning flights are critical because a lot of flights from the US and the Far East land during this period – they are critical for people transiting through London.” Not letting BA have these flights – which are deeply unpopular with thousands of Londoners, who get woken up too early – would, says BA, “dramatically impact the schedule we could offer out of London.” Usual situation – it’s a question of the health and quality of life (and sleep) for thousands, up against t he ability of BA to make more money.
BA fears cuts to early morning Heathrow flights
14 Nov 2013 (Buying Business Travel)
British Airways has warned of the impact of any attempt to increase restrictions on early morning flights into Heathrow.
BA’s head of sales and marketing Richard Tams said any further restrictions on landings at Heathrow between 04.30 and 07.00 each day could have a “dramatic impact” on business travellers.
Currently only 16 flights are allowed to land at Heathrow between 04.30 and 06.00 with a total of 65 takeoffs and landings allowed between 06.00 and 07.00.
Tams said this was still a major issue for BA, despite the current night flights regime being extended until October 2017 by the Department for Transport earlier this week.
“These early morning flights are critical because a lot of flights from the US and the Far East land during this period – they are critical for people transiting through London,” said Tams during the Carlson Wagonlit Travel Exchange for the TMC’s clients in London.
“Any attempt to restrict these flights further would have a very dramatic impact on Heathrow and major carriers at the airport. It would dramatically impact the schedule we could offer out of London.
“It’s still a concern to us – despite the regulators extending the current regime a couple of days ago – because they were going to extend the existing restrictions and still seem to be open to more restrictions at Heathrow.”
The DFT has also extended current night flight regulations at Gatwick and Stansted until 2017.
The decision has been made not to make any changes to night flight regulations until after the Airports Commission has reported on whether the UK needs more runway capacity in the south-east and where any extra runways should be built.
Tams repeated BA’s fears about the impact the government’s Air Passenger Duty was having on business travel and trade to the UK.
He also called for a relaxation in some of the UK’s visa rules – particularly the requirement for nationals of 50 countries to acquire transit visas even though they will not enter the UK.
This report prepared by Oxford Economics for British Airways and BAA (now Heathrow Airport Ltd) in 2011 reviewed the economic value of flights operated during the Night Quota Period (NQP) and flights operated during the overall Night period at Heathrow. The report looked at direct, indirect and induced economic impacts of night flights and included modelling the impact of banning flights during the NQP and the Night period. It also provided a detailed critique of a previous cost-benefit study on the topic.
One of the paragraphs in the report’s “executive summary” states: ”
When these “indirect” and “induced” impacts are taken into
account, we estimate, conservatively, that the total economic
impact of NQP flights across the UK (i.e. direct, indirect and
induced) was some £342 million in value added in 2011,
supporting 6,600 jobs and contributing £64 million in UK tax
This is fairly typical of the Oxford Economics style, hugely over-estimating and even double counting jobs and economic benefits. (see http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2597 for examples of previous exaggerations by Oxford Economics0).