New report shows Heathrow has better business connectivity than any European rivals and is “In a Class of its Own”

“In a Class of its Own”

 27.8.2011  (HACAN)

New Report:  Heathrow’s links to main business centres of the world dwarf its
European rivals

A new report reveals that Heathrow’s links to the world’s main business centres
dwarf those of its European rivals. International Air Connectivity for Business ,” published today by AirportWatch, shows that Heathrow has 990 departures each week to key business destinations
in Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe, more than the combined total
of its closest rivals, Charles de Gaulle, Paris and Frankfurt airports.

It also revealed that London airports combined (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted) 
have more than double the number of flights to key business destinations each
week compared with Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam’s.

The report has been published just a day after the Government announced its response
to the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change, where it predicted
a 2% annual growth in passenger numbers to 2050, significantly lower than the
3.7% growth seen in the past twenty years. The Government’s analysis assumes capacity
constraints on UK runways and terminals which is welcome. But their claim that
these constraints could lead to UK passengers switching to Continental airports
seems very far fetched, given the clear lead that London airports already have
over their competitors, in providing the best business connectivity.  .

AirportWatch intends to submit its new report as part of its evidence to the
Department for Transport’s Aviation Scoping Document, currently out for consultation
(consultation closes 20th October).  The Scoping Document is the first stage in
the Government’s plans to produce a new aviation policy.  In the Scoping Document
the Government stressed the importance to business of good air links from UK airports
to key business centres abroad.

AirportWatch Chair John Stewart, who compiled the report and who also chairs
HACAN, which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said, “Heathrow
is in a class of its own as far as international business connectivity is concerned. 
In fact, London as a whole is better connected to the world’s business centres
than any other European city.”

Jean Leston, Acting Head of Transport at WWF, who financed the report, said,
“The Government is right to stress the importance of international air connectivity
to business.  This report shows just how well connected the UK is to the international
business community”.

The other key finding of the report is that most flying from Continental airports
is not inter-continental but short-haul within Europe, largely for leisure purposes. 
It concludes that it then becomes not a question of lack of capacity for UK airports
but how best that capacity can be used, making the most of our superior business
connectivity while capping emissions from aviation.
The report :
International Air Connectivity for Business  (16 pages)