Heathrow expansion = Good news for Yorkshire

Heathrow Airport has unveiled proposals to grow its domestic route network from 2021 if selected for expansion – four years before a new runway would open.

New capacity could create up to 21 daily domestic services – including boosting connections to Leeds Bradford Airport with a possible early morning connection to the hub.  Heathrow is also proposing extending its £10 discount on passenger charges for all flights to UK destinations and bringing forward £10 million in start-up capital to support new domestic routes from 2021.  The proposals to boost connectivity have been welcomed by Leeds Bradford Airport and Leeds Chamber of Commerce.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has increased the need to deliver more growth for every corner of Britain faster. Heathrow’s new proposals show how the UK’s only hub is uniquely placed to make Brexit Britain stronger and fairer for everyone, not just London.  If Heathrow expansion is approved by Government, the airport will work alongside ministers and consult with the community to refine current expansion plans and increase existing capacity by up to an additional 25,000 flights a year from 2021.

Taken together, the package is a huge win for Yorkshire– supporting small and large exporters, boosting competition and reducing prices to consumers.   If granted consent, the additional 25,000 flights are expected to generate up to £1.5 billion in additional economic growth in the crucial first five years after Brexit, on top of the up to £211 billion projected by the Airports Commission.

Should the Government approve an expanded Heathrow, the full package of measures would include:

• Creating space for up to an additional 25,000 annual flights from 2021 whilst the new runway is being built

• Working with Government to ensure the new capacity – up to 21 daily flights – is dedicated for use specifically on UK routes like Leeds Bradford, a proposal made easier by Britain’s decision to leave the EU

• Continuing the new £10 discount for all flights to UK destinations from Heathrow until at least 2037, as long as there is justification and it is deemed to be in the public interest

• Bringing forward £10 million in start-up capital to support new domestic connections from 2021

• Finalising our timetable for establishing supply chain hubs.

Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airport Aviation Development Director, said:
“Heathrow is Yorkshire’s gateway to hundreds of worldwide destinations. Expansion there will see a higher quality link from Leeds Bradford Airport, securing better connections with more investment and tourism drawn to Yorkshire. That’s why a runway at Heathrow is the right choice for all of the UK.”

Gerald Jennings, President Leeds Chamber of Commerce said:
“As we enter the new economic world which Brexit will represent, it has never been more important for companies to reach out to new world markets. Opportunity is definitely out there, indeed our latest economic survey, out this month, reports increases in the number of companies doing business in North America and South East Asia for the third consecutive year running. Heathrow to the world via Leeds-Bradford Airport is already helping local businesses reach these markets but with expansion and a further runway comes the potential for more destinations and greater world access.”

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:
“This Brexit Boost Plan is our commitment to making the UK stronger and fairer for everyone – faster. It would generate around £55bn more in growth than Gatwick in the early years of Brexit. Our proposals for an additional 25,000 flights a year from 2021 would help businesses and families from across Yorkshire benefit earlier from Heathrow expansion, while protecting our commitment to meet and exceed the Airports Commission’s environmental conditions.