Manchester Airport rubbishes claims Heathrow expansion is crucial for Northern Powerhouse to succeed

The boss of Manchester Airport, Ken O’Toole, has rubbished Heathrow’s claims that a new London runway is crucial to the Northern Powerhouse. He argues that Manchester is an international airport in its own right with many direct long-haul routes.  He says Manchester airport could make up any long haul capacity gap over the next 15 years and beyond “if the country adopts a culture of healthy competition.”  Manchester started a direct service to Beijing last week, giving the North its first ever non-stop flight to mainland China. But Heathrow continually tries to persuade that, without a third Heathrow runway, northern businesses would lose “up to £710m” per year.  Manchester airport believes it can have a range of long haul flights, not only to tourist destinations – mentioning important markets like “Singapore, Hong Kong, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston and, from next March, San Francisco.”  If people can get flights to these destinations direct from Manchester, they do not need to – inconveniently – travel via Heathrow.  Ken O’Toole says some 22 million people live within two hours’ drive of Manchester Airport.  They have a huge amount of spare capacity on their two runways.  Heathrow is very nervous of losing the transfer traffic it cannot manage without, to either other hubs like Schiphol or Dubai – or the growth of airports like Manchester.
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Manchester Airport rubbishes claims Heathrow expansion is crucial for Northern Powerhouse to succeed

20 JUN 2016
BY CHARLOTTE COX (Manchester Evening News)

Heathrow boss has said without a third runway, Northern businesses would lose up to £710m

The boss of Manchester Airport has rubbished Heathrow’s claims that a new London runway is crucial to the Northern Powerhouse.

Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland Kaye last week warned that without a third runway Northern businesses would lose up to £710m per year.   Heathrow press release.  [Heathrow claims the “Increase in trade that could be facilitated if passengers who are currently forced to travel via an internationally located hub could fly via an expanded Heathrow instead (per annum) would be £420 million per year for Manchester. (A figure that Manchester would doubtless question.)  Heathrow says “Additional import/export trade facilitated for the Northern Powerhouse (per annum): £710 million for Manchester, plus Newcastle + Leeds Bradford]. 

He argued that ‘unrestrained’ international hubs such as Dubai would sap passengers and trade from the UK – and that only Heathrow could compete as the ‘domestic hub’ for the UK.

However, Ken O’Toole, CEO Of Manchester Airport , has hit back, arguing that Manchester is an international airport in its own right with many direct long-haul routes.

Manchester, he said, could fill the capacity gap over the next 15 years and beyond if the country adopts a culture of healthy competition.

He said: “The strength of Manchester Airport’s catchment area was demonstrated as recently as last week, when Hainan Airlines’ direct service to Beijing was launched, giving the North its first ever non-stop flight to mainland China.

“There are numerous other examples of long-haul carriers choosing Manchester to launch routes to key markets around the world, including destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston and, from next March, San Francisco.”

He said such routes give the north direct access to global destinations – WITHOUT having to travel to London. All, he said, brought significant trade benefits – with the new China flight to bring at least £250m into the economy over the next decade.

Manchester Airport is an international airport in its own right, says Ken O’Toole
He added: “With 22m people living within two hours’ drive of Manchester Airport and spare capacity on our two existing runways, there is ample scope to grow our route network further and drive a re-energised Northern economy by attracting yet more long haul services to key global markets.

“That is particularly pertinent in the context of a congested south east, with no new capacity due to be delivered for at least 15 years, regardless of where a new runway is built.

“The best outcome for business and leisure passengers in the short, medium and long term will be to create a strong network of competing airports across the entire UK.”

Speaking at the International Festival of Business, Mr Holland-Kaye said the government would ‘struggle with the foundations’ of the Northern Powerhouse if a third runway isn’t built.

[Heathrow’s press release, with its claims about the benefits of its 3rd runway, can be seen here. ]

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-airport-rubbishes-claims-heathrow-11498229

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Frontier Economics:  

Heathrow’s press release, from which the £710 million figure is derived, is work done for the airport by Frontier Economics.  This is an organisation that has worked with Heathrow before, to further its aims:  “Frontier (Europe) had a significant input into the submissions made by Heathrow Airport to the Airports Commission.”   Link 

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Earlier:

Manchester Airport says it is the main airport for the north – Heathrow expansion is not needed for the regions

Charlie Cornish, the CEO of Manchester airport and MAG, says “it is just plain wrong to say that only Heathrow can connect the UK to global growth.”  His comments were in response to a report by a body called the National Connectivity Task Force NCTF), that is pushing for a 3rd Heathrow runway, in the belief it would be the best option for regional airports like Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley, if they get more Heathrow slots for their flights. The NCTF are submitting their report to the Airports Commission, hoping to influence them. Mr Cornish said Manchester Airport, the only UK airport other than Heathrow to have 2 runways, was thriving as an international hub in its own right.  He said: “It is just plain wrong to say that only Heathrow can connect the UK to global growth, or that businesses in the UK’s regions need to fly through Heathrow to reach these markets….“Manchester Airport is truly the international gateway for the North, demonstrated by the fact that it serves over 4 million long haul passengers a year, up by 20% over the last 5 years….The north does not need another runway at Heathrow to connect to global markets….The biggest economic benefit will come from new services direct from the regions, with passengers not having to fly through a London airport to reach their final destination.” 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/03/manchester-airport-says-it-is-the-main-airport-for-the-north-heathrow-expansion-is-not-needed-for-the-regions/

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Owner of Manchester and Stansted airports, MAG, unsurprisingly wants airport growth outside the south-east

The Manchester Airports Group (MAG) which owns/runs Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports) says a new strategy is needed to promote local airports rather than investing in a megahub in the south-east. MAG wants a nationwide network of competing airports rather than investing all energies — and taxpayer funding — in an even larger airport in the south-east. While Heathrow claims it would provide a significant net benefit to northern England, allegedly “with the creation of up to 26,400 manufacturing jobs”, the Airports Commission’s own figures show negative impacts of a 3rd Heathrow runway on the UK’s regional airports. MAG believes that the expansion of local airports would provide a greater boost to the nation, and provide “an important catalyst for rebalancing UK plc.” So unsurprisingly Heathrow and MAG are both speaking from a position of self interest. While the Airports Commission ended up, misguidedly, just looking at whether they should be a runway at Heathrow or Gatwick, the main question of whether there should be a new runway in the south east at all still needs a convincing answer. MAG believes there is more likelihood of a successful “Northern Powerhouse” if northern airports get successful long haul routes, rather than Heathrow.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/10/owner-of-manchester-and-stansted-airports-mag-unsurprisingly-wants-airport-growth-outside-the-south-east/