Connecting regions
Connecting regions

Air travel, Domestic destinations

A third runway will allow more flights to potential destinations such as Belfast, Liverpool, Newquay, Jersey, Inverness, Isle of Man and Humberside will give regional passengers more choice over routes and fares.

Route Map - Heathrow Brand

Why a third runway is crucial to growing UK’s nations & regions…

One of the effects of constrained capacity at Heathrow has been the squeezing out of domestic flights. Heathrow has routes to just seven UK airports while Amsterdam flies to 24 UK destinations.

With additional capacity, we can create more links between the regions and Heathrow – giving the whole of the UK greater access to long-haul leisure and business destinations.

Examples of businesses that already connect to the world via Heathrow can be found in our Heathrow: A National Asset report released in 2013.

The UK is the world’s 10th largest exporter of goods, and by increasing these regional connections to Heathrow this strength can be built upon – boosting the whole of the nation.

Heathrow’s commitments to improve regional air access

In March, Heathrow announced a new package of commitments conditional on expansion enabling up to nine new air links to Heathrow and increased frequency on seven existing routes. These are:

  • The review of airport charges to help play our part in keeping existing domestic routes commercially attractive to airlines from January 2017;
  • Establishing a new Heathrow Route Development Fund. £10 million in start-up capital for airlines to support five new routes for three years;
  • Partnering with UK airports, LEPs, Chambers of Commerce, national and regional governments to work with airlines to establish new domestic routes through Heathrow;
  • Working with government to re-designate public service obligation (PSO) routes to Heathrow, the only airport that can connect them to and through London to growth markets across the globe;
  • Working with any organisation that wants to operate Northolt as a satellite runway for UK routes until Heathrow is expanded.

With 95% of the global economy within range of a direct flight from Heathrow, the measures form part of a package of commitments designed to connect the UK’s nations and regions to growth markets around the world with a new runway adding 40 new long-haul desintations.

These commitments followed a recent report on improving domestic air links with expansion in the South East completed by the National Connectivity Taskforce.

Proof of the value of a domestic connection with Heathrow can be seen by the return of British Airways’ route to Inverness and the economic benefits its expected to create. Find out more about the Inverness route return, here.

EasyJet and Flybe first to announce interest in new domestic flights

Both easyJet and Flybe have indicated they would look to operate from Heathrow in the future. The above indicative route map shows how many potential new routes the two carriers could serve with expansion and our package of regional commitments.

Commenting on the UK Government’s decision to approve a new runway at Heathrow, Northern Ireland’s Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA said:

“This is good news for Northern Ireland as Heathrow acts as a key route for access to London, mainland Europe and other important markets.

Our connectivity to global business and inward tourism markets is dependent on the high frequency, economic and easy to use connections to international flights through a hub airport such as Heathrow.”

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