Garuda Indonesia has withdrawn its proposed Gatwick to Jakarta service and instead opted to operate the route from a European hub airport, making the point, say Heathrow, that only a hub airport makes longhaul routes work economically.
Garuda has chosen to use Amsterdam Schiphol as its European base rather than operate from Gatwick. Heathrow Airport say that airlines that have been unable to access slots at Heathrow have been unable to sustain long-haul flights at Gatwick. Now, they say, those routes are being lost to the Netherlands and other competing European economies.
Direct long-haul flights are critical to supporting trade and growth. UK businesses trade 20 times more with emerging markets that have daily flights than those with less frequent or no direct service.
Colin Matthews, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport said: “A single hub airport is the only way to connect the UK to the fastest growing economies because it’s the only model that can sustain long-haul flights.
“Heathrow doesn’t oppose a second runway at Gatwick which serves predominantly short haul, low cost airlines. But new capacity at Gatwick will not provide the hub capacity needed by network airlines to put on new long haul routes.
“For the UK to compete in the global race for jobs and growth we need a hub airport with direct long-haul connections to the world’s fastest growing economies.”