|Short Haul Flights 'Clogging' Heathrow Runways|
Hacan report says long-haul destinations more cost effective
Replacing many short-haul flights with long-haul would be the most cost-effective alternative to more runways in the South East, according to a new study from campaign group HACAN, which reveals that nine out the ten top destinations served by Heathrow are short haul.
Only one destination, New York, is long haul and tops the table at 61 flights a day. The rest are European or British destinations including Dublin, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Edinburgh.
The study comes seven years after a similar one published by HACAN in 2006. That study placed Paris top of the league. However flights to the French capital have fallen dramatically since Eurostar has taken off – down from 60 a day to 35. And Brussels flights have decreased from 30 to 19.
HACAN Chair John Stewart said: “Eurostar has shown that the train can take the strain. There is scope to cut the number of short haul flights using Heathrow. It would free up slots for more long haul flights from the emerging economies of the world – places like China and India. There will always be a need for some short haul flights at Heathrow but Britain’s premier airport should be focused on intercontinental flights.”
The report points out that, although Heathrow’s runways are almost full, the airport has the terminal capacity to accommodate 20 million extra passengers a year. It argues that “the most sensible use of both the terminal and the constrained runway capacity would be to bring in more passengers, particularly from the ‘growth’ economies, using larger planes.”
It concludes that “replacing many short-haul flights with long-haul would be the most cost-effective alternative to more runways in the South East”.
April 15, 2013