Wednesday, 30 April 2014

3rd runway would cut air fares – says Heathrow

HEATHROW has stepped up its battle for expansion by claiming fares would drop if it had a third runway. A report by consultancy Frontier Economics says £300 could be cut from a return air fare by 2030 if the airport was allowed to expand.

It says passengers pay an extra £95 more for an average return because airlines are fighting for space at Heathrow, and this pushes up prices. Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: ‘This research shows that not building a third runway at Heathrow will add hundreds of pounds to the cost of a family holiday, be a disincentive to doing business in the UK, and increase the cost of the goods and services that are imported and exported through Britain’s most important trade gateway.’

The study said both Heathrow and Gatwick should be allowed to expand to bring the greatest benefits to passengers, because both airports will be heavily congested by 2030.

Heathrow said with a third runway it would be able to add 40 new direct routes to destinations such as Kolkata (Calcutta), Lima and Mombasa. It would also be able to improve connectivity within the UK, with routes to places such as Inverness, Jersey and Durham – destinations that have been cut as capacity has been squeezed.

Aviation analysts said it would be difficult to calculate the saving.

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