China Southern Airlines has finally landed a slot at Heathrow after eight years of trying, connecting London with China’s third city.
A service linking London Heathrow and Guangzhou will begin 6 June. It will operate three times a week from Terminal 4. With Heathrow full and operating at 99.2 per cent of its permitted capacity, Paris has been able to steal an eight-year long march on London in terms of building new trade links with Guangzhou.
“The UK has missed out on trade, jobs and economic growth because of the Government’s cap on flights at the UK’s only hub,” said Heathrow operator BAA.
“In the meantime the airline has flown to Paris. Even now, Paris will have four times as many flights to Guangzhou than the UK,” the spokesman added.
“Other airlines from emerging economies would like to add new routes at Heathrow, but are unable to do so because of a lack of take-off and landing slots,” said BAA.
A report by Frontier Economics recently claimed there are 21 emerging market destinations with daily flights from Continental European hubs but not from Heathrow. This Frontier Economics claims is costing the UK economy £1.2bn a year in lost trade.
BAA CEO Colin Matthews added: “The centre of gravity in the world economy is shifting and Britain should be forging new links with economies like China.Instead a lack of hub airport capacity is causing us to fall further behind the rest of Europe.”
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