BA cancels all flights from Leeds Bradford Airport to Heathrow
British Airways has cancelled all its flights from Leeds Bradford airport to Heathrow. It is dropping a number of routes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which will see its network shrink. They must know that the Leeds Bradford link does not make them money. For many years the Leeds Bradford to Heathrow route was operated by British Midland, which later became BMI. It dropped the link in 2009, citing lack of profitability. BMI was later subsumed within British Airways. BA re-launched the service between Leeds Bradford and Heathrow in 2012. But the route has always struggled commercially – rail to London is a better option. Initially there were three round-trips a day, but for the summer 2020 schedule – which never began – only 10 departures each way were planned. It was Yorkshire’s last air connection with London. Most passengers will either move to Manchester flights or use the LNER rail link, which reaches the capital from Leeds in around 2 hours, 15 minutes. Leeds Bradford is pressing ahead, rather bizarrely, with expansion plans. Heathrow always made out that increasing air “connectivity” to the regions was a key benefit of a 3rd runway (that is also now seriously delayed … if it ever happens ..)
BRITISH AIRWAYS CANCELS ALL FLIGHTS FROM LEEDS BRADFORD AIRPORT
Exclusive: Yorkshire’s last air connection with London has been cut
By Simon Calder, Travel Correspondent (The Independent)
British Airways has cancelled all its flights from Leeds Bradford airport to London Heathrow.
The airline is dropping a number of routes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which will see its network shrink.
A spokesperson for BA said: “We are sorry to suspend our flights to Leeds Bradford after many years.
“We regularly evaluate our routes based on where our customers tell us they want to travel.
“We remain committed to connecting businesses, families and friends right across our UK network.”
For many years the Leeds Bradford to Heathrow route was operated by British Midland, which later became BMI. It dropped the link in 2009, citing lack of profitability.
BMI was later subsumed within British Airways. BA re-launched the service between Leeds Bradford and Heathrow in 2012.
But the route has always struggled commercially. Initially there were three round-trips a day, but for the summer 2020 schedule – which never began – only 10 departures each way were planned.
It was Yorkshire’s last air connection with London. Most passengers will either move to Manchester flights or use the LNER rail link, which reaches the capital from Leeds in around two hours, 15 minutes.
Just before the coronavirus pandemic, Leeds Bradford had been promoting expansion plans to largely replace the existing terminal, dating from 1965. It aimed to reach seven million passengers annually by 2030.
British Airways has also axed its summer routes from Heathrow to Calgary and Charleston for 2020, and deferred the launch of its Portland, Oregon service from 1 June to 2 September 2020.
See earlier news on Leeds Bradford Airport
Leeds Bradford airport submits plans for new terminal building & more passengers (4m to 7m a year) despite Covid fall in demand.
The airport has submitted a planning application to Leeds City Council, to replace the current terminal building with a new one by 2023, to increase passenger numbers from 4 million a year to 7 million a year. Opponents to the plans say that will make the climate emergency “worse” and that the current pandemic means there’s “no need” for it. Local people, in Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) say the expansion will increase CO2 emissions, at a time when countries around the world are being urged to drastically then. It will also bring more noise for local communities, increased air pollution, and more traffic congestion. Instead “We need to rebuild a healthy economy in Leeds. We don’t need an unsustainable development like this.” Leeds City Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, but conveniently does not include the CO2 emissions from the airport’s flights in its carbon budget. But the flights alone would exceed Leeds’ entire carbon budget by 2035. The airport is trying hard to persuade the Council that its expansion is needed, in competition with Manchester, and the (alleged) economic benefits it would bring would be huge. Will it be able to afford £150 million, now there is the Covid fall in demand?
Leeds Bradford Airport expansion could now be in doubt – if the landmark Heathrow climate case can be used against it
The ruling on Heathrow’s 3rd runway on 27th February, by the Court of Appeal, put the scheme seriously in doubt – on the grounds of its carbon emissions. The DfT had decided not to take proper account of the extra carbon emissions, in relation to the UK’s commitments under the Paris Agreement, when it produced the Airports National Policy Statement . The ruling is ground-breaking, because it sets a global precedent that can now be used to challenge other developments which damage the environment. The expansion plans of Leeds Bradford would result in a possible increase in passengers from about 4 million per year now to about 7 million. This means the plans are not considered large enough to require the National Policy Statement and DCO route. Instead the application goes through the usual planning process. So the Heathrow ruling may not have a direct bearing on this case, though the principle of the need to properly account for carbon emissions from new developments, may be used to argue against it if it went to appeal. Leeds has declared a climate emergency, and its local Citizens’ Assembly resolved that the airport should not expand, due to its carbon emissions.
Kirklees council urged not to back Leeds Bradford expansion plans – due to climate impact
Kirklees Council leader has been urged not to back the use of public money to help the £41 million expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport. The call came from Kirklees Greens leader, Cllr Cooper, who says pumping £5 million into a proposed new rail interchange – the Leeds Bradford Airport Parkway scheme – would inevitably increase international flights and could undermine regional carbon emissions targets. Such a commitment of public money, increasing carbon emissions at a time of climate crisis, was foolhardy. The airport’s expansion plans are being considered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), a group of leading councillors and officers from West Yorkshire councils, plus York, that works on major infrastructure projects. The rail interchange would include a new railway station on the Harrogate railway line and associated access works, assisting access to the airport. The scheme is being promoted with claims it will improve air quality … slightly dubious reasoning there … Cllr Cooper: “Kirklees Council cannot ignore the impact of air travel and the threat it poses to all the actions that we need to be taking to reduce global emissions.”
‘Lives will be blighted’ by £150M Leeds Bradford Airport plans say protesters after ‘die-in’ at meeting
Leeds Bradford is planning to expand, spending £150 million on a new terminal that would allow more annual flights and passengers. Local residents object to the plans as an ‘abdication of responsibility’ and claimed an eco-friendly terminal would be pointless if the numbers of flights increased, as this would massively increase CO2 emissions. The Council meeting had been suspended for 20 minutes due to protests from climate campaigners, locking themselves to railings and holding a die-in. As well as the terminal, the airport wants to reduce the night period with no flights by 90 minutes, so instead of the current 8 hours of quiet at night, there would just be 6 and a half hours. The airport wants to start work in winter 2020, with an opening in 2023. “If we have to go to carbon offsetting, that is what we will do.” The airport is terrified of not growing. The extra noise will blight the lives of thousands of residents under the flight paths. The decision by the Leeds Council City Plans Panel was to take no view on the pre-application and ask the Airport for further information.
and more at