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BBT March/April 2019 cover
March/April 2019

Easyjet chief: No economic reason to expand Gatwick

Carolyn McCall, Easyjet CEO

Easyjet chief executive Carolyn McCall has said there is no “economic reason” to build a second runway at Gatwick airport as she renews support for an extra runway at Heathrow.

Despite the airline being Gatwick’s largest customer, McCall said the funding needed to expand Gatwick would hit passengers with a “very onerous” increase in charges “from the word go”.

Speaking to The Times McCall said the West Sussex airport had “never proved it can really be the kind of airport that Heathrow is”.

Her comments come as a report from the Airports Commission into airport expansion in the south east is due to be released in the next couple of weeks - The three options are: a new runway at Heathrow, a new runway at Gatwick and extending one of the two existing runways at Heathrow.

“Heathrow has got people queuing up to get in,” McCall said. “It costs £25 million for one slot at Heathrow. We bought 20 slot pairs at Gatwick for £20 million.

“The airline demand is for Heathrow because you get the yields from passengers at Heathrow; you get the hub effect. It’s a very economic reason why we don’t need an extra runway to go into Gatwick.”

A spokesman for Gatwick said: “We have always maintained that Easyjet’s position is based on its own narrow commercial interests.

“Heathrow is already the most expensive airport in Europe and expansion there can only drive up costs for airlines and passengers even further, deterring low-cost carriers from operating at Heathrow in the future, just as it has for the past 25 years since the low-cost revolution got under way.”

Earlier this year, Easyjet came out in support of expanding Heathrow saying it was in the “best interests of passengers”.

McCall won a Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s Business Travel Awards.

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Comments

Heathrow Landing Delays Waste 190 tons of Fuel a Day
04 July 2011
NATS National Air Transport Service Publication
More than half (60%) of arrivals at Heathrow Airport are caught up in holding patterns above London, wasting fuel worth £119,000 per day.
Figures compiled by UK air traffic control service NATS have revealed that jets circling for a cumulative 55 hours a day are discharging
600 tons of CO2 into the skies above London.
Heathrow runs well for 300 days of the year, while 50 days prove very difficult and 15 are a complete disaster, the NATS report estimated.
Heathrow is dubbed the busiest international airport in the world with just two runways and 476,000 flights a year.
British Airways / Iberia parent International Airlines Group had left the hope of seeing a new runway built in Heathrow and apparently looking for alternative options such as Madrid for future growth.

Willie Walsh accepts there will be No Third Runway
Speaking at the debate organized by the Evening Standard (27th June 2012) BAA chief Willie Walsh said that, much as he would like to have seen a 3rd runway at Heathrow, he now accepts the reality that it will not happen and is planning his business accordingly. He also said that mixed-mode at Heathrow would makes worse at the airport and opposes it.
The Evening Standard, still pushing expansion under its new editor Sarah Sands, chose to report things differently….and incorrectly.
Read the HACAN Blog: In Praise of Willie Walsh

Winston M Thomas CEO's picture
Winston M Thomas CEO (not verified)

Heathrow Landing Delays Waste 190 tons of Fuel a Day
04 July 2011
NATS National Air Transport Service Publication
More than half (60%) of arrivals at Heathrow Airport are caught up in holding patterns above London, wasting fuel worth £119,000 per day.
Figures compiled by UK air traffic control service NATS have revealed that jets circling for a cumulative 55 hours a day are discharging
600 tons of CO2 into the skies above London.
Heathrow runs well for 300 days of the year, while 50 days prove very difficult and 15 are a complete disaster, the NATS report estimated.
Heathrow is dubbed the busiest international airport in the world with just two runways and 476,000 flights a year.
British Airways / Iberia parent International Airlines Group had left the hope of seeing a new runway built in Heathrow and apparently looking for alternative options such as Madrid for future growth.

Willie Walsh accepts there will be No Third Runway
Speaking at the debate organized by the Evening Standard (27th June 2012) BAA chief Willie Walsh said that, much as he would like to have seen a 3rd runway at Heathrow, he now accepts the reality that it will not happen and is planning his business accordingly. He also said that mixed-mode at Heathrow would makes worse at the airport and opposes it.
The Evening Standard, still pushing expansion under its new editor Sarah Sands, chose to report things differently….and incorrectly.
Read the HACAN Blog: In Praise of Willie Walsh

Winston Thomas's picture
Winston Thomas (not verified)

Readers beware of vested interests in these matters.
EasyJet does not want a second runway at Gatwick for not just the charges, which would one assume bd covered by the extra revenue from increased passenger numbers and aircraft movements. No, the real reason is much more likely to be that with a shortage of capacity one is able charge more for the product on offer, ie more profit for zero investment by EasyJet. Not exactly in the wider interest.
As for Heathrow, a degree of pragmatism by Willie, but the reality is that a third runway is needed .It would by now have well on the way to being completed had the politicians in 2010 not been keener on point scoring and narrow vested interests.
The need is still here for both, they are both private industry financed, so no need for the Government to get concerned about either.
As a colleague says "just do it!"

Martin Alder's picture
Martin Alder (not verified)

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