Heathrow finds space for new flights to Mexico – and Alicante

The Telegraph writes that it has taken Aeromexico four years to get some slots at Heathrow, and makes out that this is because Heathrow is full etc etc.  There are already 4 flights per week to Mexico, and these new flights will bring the total number to 7 per week. The Telegraph compares this to Paris with 14 and Madrid with 19.  In reality, due to the BA link with Iberia, there are relatively few flights from Heathrow to south America, as they go via Madrid. Looking at Heathrow’s website, and its new destinations, one could be forgiven for thinking the airport is only looking to attract tourists, as all its publicity about new destinations is about their tourism potential, and delightful things to go and see and experience.  Not one word about their business potential, or the chances for business to drive UK exports.  And Heathrow has found room for as many new flights per week to Alicante as there will be to Mexico.  Driving UK exports via Alicante ? Really?

From the Telegraph:

“Mexican airline waits four years to do business with Heathrow”

Heathrow has so little spare capacity to handle extra flights that it took four years for an airline hoping to launch routes to Mexico, one of Britain’s key emerging market trading partners, to complete the deal.

By  (Telegraph)

19 Oct 2012

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, said the four-year wait experienced by Aeromexico highlights how Britain is being held back economically by the Government’s inertia on airport expansion.

Britain has a goal to double bilateral trade with Mexico to $4.2bn (£2.6bn) by 2015 but Aeromexico has been waiting since 2008 for takeoff and landing slots to become available at Heathrow.

The airline will launch three flights a week from London to Mexico City in December, bringing the total number of connections between Heathrow and Mexico’s capital city to seven a week. That compares with 14 weekly flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and Mexico City, and 19 from Madrid.

Mr Matthews said: “The centre of gravity in the world economy is shifting and Britain should be forging new links with economies like Mexico. But with this single deal taking four years to complete, the UK’s lack of hub airport capacity is causing us to fall further behind the rest of Europe.”

Heathrow is currently operating at 99.2pc of its capacity. The airport claims the UK is missing out on vital jobs and trade because of the Government-imposed limit on the number of flights that can take off and land at the airport.

Mr Matthews is expected to step up his campaign for expansion at Britain’s only hub airport following this week’s rebranding of BAA to Heathrow, which was carried out to reflect the fact Heathrow will account for 95pc of the group’s business in future.

But the airport is facing growing competition from Gatwick, which has commissioned a study into a second runway.



Heathrow’s Destinations page lists a lot of places that could only at a pinch be called key business destinations, but largely for tourism. Some are Male, (Maldives), Miami, Pisa, Cyprus, Milan, Nice among others.


BA returns to Alicante


By Dave Jones
BRITISH Airways has launched a new route from Alicante to London Heathrow.

According to a press release from Alicante airport, flights will start in the winter of this year. These will be scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on an Airbus 319 plane.

An airport spokesman said: “With this route Alicante is creating a connection with the whole world as Heathrow is the busiest airport on the planet.

“They fly to more than 180 destinations in more than 90 countries.”

A spokeswoman for British airways told CBNews: “BA offers prices from €81 one way. This is the lowest adult one-way price including taxes, fees, charges and surcharges.”





Heathrow’s New Destinations page below. There is no indication that these are for business – all the blurb talks about tourist destinations.  Not emerging economies or business opportunities for UK exports. There is no mention of business whatsoever.

All the blurb on the links is about tourism –  lovely things to go and see and do.

The text from the page at Latest Destinations is copied below:

Heathrow’s Latest destinations

Discover new routes and hot tickets from London Heathrow. Our featured destination pages are full of great travel ideas, and you can book with us too.

Want to hear about more new routes? Get our Heathrow email newsletter.


From wilderness and wildlife to watersports and nightlife, Canada has plenty to offer, whatever kind of holiday you’re after.    Heathrow to Canada

View Latest Destinations: India


Vast, colourful and amazingly varied, India is deservedly rated one of the world’s great destinations. Fly direct from Heathrow.    Heathrow to India

View Latest Destinations: Dubai


Business, tourism, architecture … whatever your reason for going, you’re spoiled for choice of flights to Dubai.    Heathrow to Dubai

View Latest Destinations: Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

From beach life to carnival to inner-city rainforest, Rio has it all. Fly direct from London Heathrow.    Heathrow to Rio

View Latest Destinations: United States

United States

Heathrow offers a fantastic choice of flights to US cities, and it must be one of the best-value long-haul destinations around.    Heathrow to the USA




Here is the detail of the Canadian one:

Heathrow to Canada

Fly direct to eight Canadian cities with Air Canada, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic

From wilderness and wildlife to watersports and nightlife, Canada just might be the perfect travel destination.

And with Virgin Atlantic launching flights from Heathrow to Vancouver for summer 2012, it’s now easier than ever to get there.

In this section you can find out who flies where, plan where you’d like to go using our in-depth travel guides, and compare flight prices in our travel shop.

and the Dubai one:

Heathrow to Dubai

Biman Bangladesh, British Airways, Emirates, Royal Brunei or Virgin Atlantic

There’s nowhere on earth like Dubai. Once a fishing village, this futuristic desert metropolis now boasts man-made islands, golf courses and even ski slopes – not to mention the world’s highest building, the 2,625-ft Burj Khalifa.

This is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, blessed with an idyllic sunshine climate, and its ambitious expansion plans include the world’s largest shopping mall and a massive desert leisure oasis.

Despite the economic slowdown, this is a city on the rise and still a major tourist attraction. And with a great choice of Dubai flights from Heathrow, there’s no excuse for waiting any longer to visit.