Gatwick Airport Ambassador switches allegiance to Heathrow, and runway bid fails to gain traction with business

Back in early 2015, Emma Jones – the founder of  Enterprise Nation – a small business support platform, was working for Gatwick airport and promoting its usefulness for business. She is quoted by Gatwick in March 2015 as saying how many of the UK’s 5 million small businesses were looking to ‘Go Global’ and sell their products and services abroad.  “To do so requires an easy-access airport and low cost flights to meet new contacts, research markets and source suppliers. It’s for these reasons that I support expansion at Gatwick ….”  Then in November, Emma was appointed by David Cameron as one of six leading entrepreneurs to be business ambassadors with a focus on helping more small businesses export their products and services. And she is now working with Heathrow. It has been announced that Heathrow is to carry out a consultation with Enterprise Nation, to explore the impact of expanding Heathrow on the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SME). Emma said: “A quarter of all UK exports by value already travel through the airport. It will be interesting to see how an expanded Heathrow could make a real difference at a time when more people than ever before are starting and growing businesses.”


Gatwick Airport Ambassador switches allegiance, and runway bid fails to gain traction with business

29.1.2016 (CAGNE press release)

One of Gatwick’s most high profile supporters has switched their support to Heathrow.

Emma Jones – one of the Government’s business ambassadors and founder of Enterprise Nation – had previously appeared in Gatwick press releases and on websites. Today she has said, “Expanding Heathrow is a massive opportunity for all of the UK’s businesses – from the largest right down to the smallest. With 40 new long-haul routes to fast-growing markets and improved domestic connectivity, expansion will enhance the UK’s productivity and drive growth by boosting exports.’

Sally Pavey Chair of CAGNE ( Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) commented:  “This change of business heart by Ms Jones simply re-iterates the fact that Gatwick is not seen as the answer for business growth by large or small businesses.”

It would seem the move by Emma Jones, who last year was working to promote Gatwick, confirms the Airports Commissions findings that Gatwick does not serve emerging markets where business wants to go; Gatwick’s current number one destination is Spain.

The Daily Mail reported on 27th January that: “Passengers using the non-stop Gatwick Express between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport – which costs £34.90 for an Anytime Return ticket bought at a station – are least likely to be satisfied with their train fare at just 37%.”

Sally commented that “Gatwick sits on one of the worst railway lines in the country with 37%* of passengers being satisfied by the cost of the Gatwick Express.”

“Gatwick’s location results in the already overcrowded commuter trains being further filled by Gatwick’s low-cost airline leisure travellers each day. Surely this is not how we want potential business travellers welcomed to the UK, finding themselves miles from London at a regional airport, and with a slow, crowded journey to reach the capital?”


Notes to editors

Gatwick Airport heavily used Ms Jones’ support with open joint letters, in Gatwick press releases and Gatwick’s blog, to illustrate they had support.  So the announcement by Emma Jones of her changed allegiance  is a real set back for Gatwick’s multi million £ propaganda campaign.

Gatwick used Emma Jones’ support for promotional purposes, with Ms Jones stating, ‘why wouldn’t UK entrepreneurs want more of the same?’

Emma Jones is not alone in not supporting Gatwick expansion, as EasyJet, Gatwick Airport’s number one customer, does not support Gatwick.

Gatwick lists 5 Chambers of Commerce that support their bid, all of whom are located in Sussex.

Emma Jones also helped publicise a conference at Gatwick attended by 100 companies, including Google and Barclays. Gatwick’s press release detailed: ‘Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation, said: “With so many small businesses starting trade on a Monday and trading with the world by Wednesday, they need to access practical guidance on how to enter new markets – and they need routes to those markets.’

Jones also publicised the “TAKE OFF: Growing Your Business Abroad” event aimed at small businesses in the UK.

Emma Jones stated in a Gatwick press release dated 23rd March 2015 : “It’s for these reasons that I support expansion at Gatwick so that this entrepreneurial transport hub can help even more small businesses trade across borders.’


CAGNE's photo.

Heathrow and Enterprise Nation launches SME consultation

By James Muir
Jan 29, 2016

Heathrow Airport is to carry out a consultation with business support group, Enterprise Nation, to explore the impact of expanding the hub on the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SME).

The airport says the findings will be used to develop an SME growth strategy within Heathrow’s expansion plans. It believes this will help export growth in line with the government target of £1 trillion ($1.4 trillion) of exports by 2020. Heathrow says in 2015, exports to China via Heathrow grew by 117 per cent to £7.6 billion, and with 40 new long-haul routes to growing markets and improved domestic connectivity, UK productivity and exports will grow further.

Heathrow Airport chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye says: “SMEs are the backbone of the British economy and when they export they flourish. For small exporters, that starts with a box on a plane – usually from Heathrow.”

“With expansion we’ll open up 40 new long-haul trading links and improve domestic connectivity – making it cheaper and more efficient for SMEs to sell their products in fast growing markets around the world.”

Enterprise Nation founder, Emma Jones says: “A quarter of all UK exports by value already travel through the airport. It will be interesting to see how an expanded Heathrow could make a real difference at a time when more people than ever before are starting and growing businesses.”

The findings of the consultation will be announced in April.



Prime minister appoints Enterprise Nation founder as business ambassador

20/11/2015  (in International Trade and Campaigning)

Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones has been appointed by prime minister David Cameron as a business ambassador with a focus on helping more small businesses export their products and services.

Emma Jones is one of six leading entrepreneurs and executives selected to promote the UK in overseas markets, and assist British businesses to take advantage of opportunities both in the UK and abroad.

When travelling on business, the ambassadors will arrange meetings at the request of government such as lobbying to remove barriers to market access or leading events for SMEs.

They will also lead trade missions, brief UK ministers and ambassadors, meet overseas ministers and inward missions, and contribute to government-to-government dialogues with international markets.

The other new ambassadors are:

Karen Blackett, MediaCom
Liv Garfield, Severn Trent
Paul Kahn, Airbus Group UK
Stephen Kelly, Sage
Holly Tucker, notonthehighstreet

“It is excellent news that some of Britain’s best and brightest business minds will be working with us,” Cameron said.

“Our new business ambassadors will bring a wealth of experience and expertise, helping us to unlock markets, grow our international trade and boost inward investment.

“Showing the world that the UK is open for trade and investment is a key part of our plan to deliver economic security. Ambassadors of this calibre show we mean business.”

News of Emma Jones’ appointment follows Enterprise Nation’s recent Go Global Mission to Shanghai when 40 small businesses travelled to China to explore export opportunities. The initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to help more small businesses export overseas.





Entrepreneurs back Gatwick expansion

8th Jan 2015 (Business Zone)

Dan Martin Former editor

A group of 19 entrepreneurs have signed an open letter supporting a second runway at Gatwick Airport saying it is the best airport for startups with global ambitions.

In an open letter to the Airports Commission business owners including Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins, Mr & Mrs Smith co-founder James Lohan, former Pizza Express chairman Luke Johnson and Supper Club founder Duncan Cheatle, say expansion of Gatwick would allow “development of low cost business access to overseas markets” for “cost-conscious entrepreneurs”.

Expanding the rival Heathrow Airport, the letter continues, would “restore its monopoly and strangle the diversity that was so long in coming to the UK’s aviation industry”.

Speaking on behalf of the signatories, Emma Jones, founder of small business support platform Enterprise Nation, said: “Enabling startup businesses to go global is vital to the future of the UK economy. Start-ups do not have vast expense accounts, but rely on low cost fares to reach new markets.

“Since the breakup of BAA, Gatwick has excelled in providing more choice, lower fares, better service levels and efficient service; why wouldn’t UK entrepreneurs want more of the same?”

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s CEO, added: “Indecision has dogged this debate for decades but more than anything, entrepreneurs and businesses up and down the country need certainty.
“Expansion at Heathrow is politically and environmentally toxic, but a new runway at Gatwick could be delivered by 2025 at a fraction of the environmental impact of Heathrow.”

Both airports are keen to secure the backing of business leaders in their efforts to secure another runway in what has been a long running inquiry.

Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Kelly Hoppen is an ambassador for Heathrow and in September last year Willie Walsh, boss of British Airways’ parent company, who supported Heathrow in a previous inquiry, said: “I would not support a runway at Gatwick because I don’t think there is a business case to support it.”