Liverpool Airport in talks over London link

26.12.2007     (UK Airport News)

Liverpool Airport is in ‘advanced talks’ with an airline – VLM – over re-establishing
a London air link from the region, the Daily Post newspaper has revealed.   Gatwick
Airport is the most likely destination for the new air link, airport bosses say.

The airport has been talking to ‘several operators’ about re-establishing a link
to the Capital, six months after VLM [] axed its
three-year-old service between Liverpool and London’s City airport. At the time,
VLM cited falling passengers numbers as being behind its decision to scrap the
route, although business leaders said alterations to VLM’s timetable earlier in
the year had made the flights less convenient and some suggested that the airline
wanted to focus on its flights from local rival Manchester Airport.

Both the airport and Liverpool City Council ideally want to establish a flight
into Heathrow, which could then serve both London-bound business travellers and
people wishing to travel to international destinations not served by Liverpool
John Lennon (JLA). But the high price and scarcity of slots into Heathrow makes
this unlikely, in the short-term at least.

A flight into Gatwick is now more likely, the airport said. That would still
offer connections to dozens of international destinations, and is just over 30
minutes from central London by train. A spokesman for JLA told the newspaper:
‘Gatwick serves many destinations that we don’t, and it would provide an excellent
way of opening up Liverpool and the region to more visitors. It would also provide
easy access to London, which is becoming increasingly important.’

‘We are in discussion with several airlines at the moment over a London flight,
which we see as a priority for the airport. The discussions are at an advanced
stage with one of the operators.’ He declined to reveal which operators it was
in discussion with, but several of its current operators already fly into Gatwick
including Ryanair, easyJet and Flybe.