The Airports Commission is expected to announce next week whether it has shortlisted the Mayor’s proposal for a new Thames Estuary airport as a solution to the UK’s hub airport capacity crisis.
In advance of the Commission’s decision, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye has written an open letter to the Mayor reminding him of his own words about the essential need for a successful hub and the inability of Gatwick to provide the connectivity the country needs.
This, say Heathrow, leads to an obvious conclusion – that if the Estuary option is not on the table, Boris shuld back Heathrow.
The letter, from John Holland-Kaye, acknowledges that the he and the Mayor have their differences, but that they “have always agreed that London and the UK need a successful hub airport to compete”.
Holland-Kaye says he believes Boris thinks that a hub airport does something different than a point-to-point airport – such as Gatwick. By combining direct passengers with transfer passengers a hub is able to fill the large aircraft that make long-haul travel possible.
Holland-Kaye writes: “If your own proposal for a new Thames Estuary airport is not shortlisted by the Airports Commission then Heathrow will be the only hub option left in the race. It will be the only option capable of providing frequent direct long-haul flights to fast-growing countries like China, India and Brazil.”
“We both want to keep Britain as a global economic power for generations to come, enhance London’s position as a world City, as well as create over 100,000 new jobs many of which will be in your proposed constituency of Uxbridge. Heathrow can help you do this and I urge you to maintain your support for a successful hub airport. Any other choice would be a betrayal of the case that you have made so effectively over the last three years.”