Leeds Bradford airport back Heathrow runway, hoping to get contracts for Yorkshire

The Airports Commission found, in its analysis, that with a Heathrow 3rd runway there would ultimately be fewer – not more – links to the UK’s regional airports. It found that Heathrow would only serve 4 domestic destinations by 2030, compared to the 7 is now serves. Which those would be is not clear, but many regional airports have little to gain from Heathrow expansion, as their potential long haul routes would not be profitable. However, some regional airports have been persuaded to back Heathrow. Leeds Bradford airport says they hope it “would bring wealth and jobs to Yorkshire.” At a dinner at the House of Commons for 8 local MPs, Heathrow laid out its plans to get Yorkshire firms involved in the development of the third runway, with Yorkshire firms in the supply chain. They say some Yorkshire firms were involved in the building of Terminal 5 and the redevelopment of Terminal 2. There will be a supply chain conference in Leeds on 15th October. Heathrow has handed out £200m in contracts to Yorkshire businesses over the past 3 years. There were meant to be 4 daily flights between Heathrow and Leeds Bradford from December 2012, but there are still only 3 – the 4th still planned.


Heathrow says third runway will promote Yorkshire wealth

9 September 2015 (Yorkshire Post)

Leeds Bradford and Heathrow airports are forging closer ties in a bid to support a third runway at the London hub, which they say would bring wealth and jobs to Yorkshire.

At a dinner at the House of Commons for eight local MPs, Heathrow laid out its plans to get Yorkshire firms involved in the development of the third runway.

This follows the region’s strong involvement in the building of Terminal 5 and the redevelopment of Terminal 2, with most of the steel being sourced from Yorkshire.

Heathrow has picked Yorkshire as the first British region to be targeted as part of its drive to improve connectivity with the rest of Britain. It will hold a supply chain conference in Leeds on October 15 to highlight how local businesses can get involved.

Tony Hallwood, aviation development director at Leeds Bradford, said: “Heathrow has never undertaken a regional business event before. This conference will give local businesses the chance to understand what Heathrow has to say. Yorkshire firms can secure some of the supply chain benefits. For Heathrow to come to Leeds first shows it means business in Yorkshire.”

Heathrow has already handed out £200m in contracts to Yorkshire businesses over the past three years.

The House of Commons dinner was a chance for Heathrow to raise its profile with regional MPs and show how the two airports can deliver new jobs in Yorkshire.

At the moment British Airways has three flights a day between Leeds Bradford and Heathrow at 9.30am, 2.30pm and 9pm, but Leeds Bradford is looking to improve the scheduling to offer an early morning flight to offer Yorkshire travellers better connections.

“We believe we have the potential for a minimum of four flights a day,” said Mr Hallwood.

Some 300,000 passengers have flown between Leeds Bradford and Heathrow over the past three years.

Leeds Bradford is keen to lend its support to Heathrow’s plans to grow and development the London hub following the Airports Commission’s recommendation that the Government approves plans for a third runway at Heathrow.





Airports Commission report shows fewer, not more, links to regional airports by 2030 with 3rd Heathrow runway

The Times reports that analysis by Transport for London (TfL) of the Airports Commission’s final report shows that, with a 3rd runway, Heathrow would only serve 4 domestic destinations by 2030, compared to the 7 is now serves. It would serve only 3 with no new runway by 2030. (The Gatwick figures are 7 domestic destinations by 2030 with a 2nd runway, compared to 10 now). Heathrow has been claiming that its runway will be important for better links to the regions, and improved domestic connectivity by air. The Heathrow runway has been backed by Peter Robinson, the first minister of Northern Ireland, Derek Mackay, the Scottish transport minister, and Louise Ellman, the chairwoman of the transport select committee – on the grounds that it would help the regions. The Commission’s report says: (Page 313) “15.8 ….without specific measures to support domestic connectivity even an expanded Heathrow may accommodate fewer domestic routes in future….” The Commission cannot see effective ways to ensure domestic links are not cut in future, as less profitable than long haul, but they suggest public subsidy by the taxpayer for these routes. This is by using PSO (Public Service Obligations) which could cost £ millions, is a bad use of public money, and may fall foul of EU law.

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Heathrow would spend £10 million to increase some domestic flights, only if granted a 3rd runway, to get backing from regions

Heathrow has increasingly cut the number of flights to UK regional airports, as it has become more uneconomic for the airlines to run them – and long haul international routes are more profitable. But Heathrow is aware that it  needs to get the backing of regional airports, in order to lobby to be allowed a 3rd runway.  Heathrow therefore suggested the setting up of a National Connectivity Task Force. In order to boost flights to the regions, Heathrow now says that – only IF it gets a new runway – it will spend £10 million on for the development of 5 new domestic routes, for 3 years. These would include Newquay, Humberside and Liverpool.  That would be in addition to the 4 extra routes that easyJet has said it wants to operate if there is a Heathrow runway, to Inverness, Belfast International, the Isle of Man and Jersey.  There are currently 6 domestic routes from Heathrow (Leeds Bradford, Belfast City, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Newcastle). Heathrow also said it would launch a review of its airport charges in the coming weeks to focus on making domestic flights more commercially attractive (cheaper) to airlines. The results of this consultation, which is not dependent upon getting a new runway, will be effective from January 2016.



New BA flights 4 times per day from Heathrow to Leeds Bradford

Direct flights between Yorkshire and Heathrow have been reinstated with the first BA service after an absence of 32 years,using a  A319. There will be 4 flights per day, and the region’s business community is said to be enthusiastic, as it provides quicker access to Heathrow’s 170 destinations around the world. Tony Hallwood, commercial director at LBA, said: “It opens up the region to the rest of Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Flights on the new route, which take 80 minutes, cost from £55 one way, including taxes. The Chamber of Commerce Chief Exec said “These new BA services connect Yorkshire to the whole of the world through Heathrow – and now the whole of the world will find it easier to get to Harrogate.”  The airport wants to increase passenger from 3 million to 3.5 million over the next 18 months or so and to 4.5 million within the next 5 years.”