Inaction on Heathrow Airport’s expansion could foil the UK Government’s aim to transform the North of England into a high productivity Northern Powerhouse, losing out on £710m annually in trade, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye has warned.
Holland-Kaye said capacity constraints at the airport will force passengers to use other international hub airports for travel instead of Heathrow, which would generate less trade for the country’s economy.
With the capacity expansion, increased travel to and from the UK via Heathrow Airport could help add an extra £1.7bn in trade each year.
Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow is the right choice for a long-term plan to back every corner of the UK.
“The Government is going to struggle with the foundations of the Northern Powerhouse if a third runway isn’t built to support the region’s existing connectivity.
“To rebalance and strengthen the British economy, the UK needs a domestic hub airport that can compete with our unconstrained hub rivals abroad, and that’s something only Heathrow can deliver.”
If Heathrow is not expanded, passengers may have to depend on booking connections through hubs in Europe, Istanbul and Dubai in order to fly to long-haul destinations with only one stop.
The expansion would also boost the UK’s trade, as Heathrow would be able to provide new connections to domestic airports, such as Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Humberside Airport in the Northern Powerhouse, as well as 40 other new long-haul routes.
This would help the airport to enhance the connection between the UK’s regional economies and international growth markets when compared to other foreign hubs, such as Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris.