Following yesterday’s backing by the government of the proposed plans for a third runway at London Heathrow it’s safe to say that businesses across the region, Travel Bureau included, have whole-heartedly welcomed the news.
The link between a West London airport expansion and the North East of England is not immediately obvious, but the potential it presents for the Northern regions is enormous.
A third runway at Heathrow will not only secure existing connectivity but also expand domestic flight provision and open up the region further to international markets, in turn increasing capacity for exporters, investors and tourism alike.
London Heathrow is undoubtedly the UK’s international hub for business travellers, offering more airlines choice, flight options and destinations than any other. It’s existing infrastructure of logistics companies and capacity to handle air freight aids the economic growth of our exporting companies. Global airlines want to operate out of Heathrow, so continued investment and expansion is crucial.
Newcastle is one of only eight regional airports currently operating daily services into Heathrow and a third runway would see regional flight connections increase, which can only benefit companies across the whole of the UK. Indeed, Durham Tees Valley airport is one of the proposed new routes should the expansion plans go ahead, which would hugely benefit business and leisure travellers in the south of our region.
What does this mean for the business traveller themselves?
Our clients and business travellers want three things:
Frequent services to a wide range of destinations
Reliable departures and arrivals
Comfortable airport facilities
Business travel can be stressful and our job is to offer intelligent solutions to streamline our clients’ journey and alleviate stress points so that they can concentrate on their business objectives.
Flying direct to their destination from their local airport is ideal. Investment by airlines like Emirates into Newcastle from Dubai has been invaluable, but realistically how many direct international flights can a regional airport support for such a major investment to be commercially viable. It’s not just about point to point traffic but the connectivity these regional services offer the business traveller – be it via Heathrow, Dubai, Paris or Amsterdam. Heathrow’s planned investment and expansion will allow the UK to cement its position as an international hub and hopefully enable Heathrow to reclaim back its crown as the world’s busiest airport.
From our clients’ point of view, it will allow them to continue to enjoy access to global markets, give them more choice, lower fares and better connections. From ours, it will ensure we can deliver a smooth business travel experience so that all our clients are happy travellers.
For more comment listen to our Joint MD Anne Bromley live on both Share Radio and BBC Radio Newcastle this morning via the links below. Tune in from 01:08:55 in on the Aflie & Anna Breakfast show programme listen back link for the Heathrow expansion piece.