Airlines Planning Their Futures With The Possibility Of A Third Runway At Heathrow Airport
Seven years until the first aircraft are due to be cleared for takeoff on Heathrow's plan third runway and such has been the history of the project this may be an optimistic estimate this does not stop airlines planning for it however not least Virgin Atlantic which has announced that it hopes to use an expanded Heathrow to service eighty eighty four new destinations thirty five of them long-haul including Sydney Lima Calgary Beijing and Buenos Ayres joined with more on this by LS Taylor Asia editor at the aviation analytics firm CERIUM LS seriously. How much mileage is there in an airline planning for what it's going to do with Heathrow's food runway well you could sort of say that Virgin Atlantic really getting out there ahead of the runway and trying to stake a claim for for a number of thoughts that would really been up quite a number of new routes for them and bring a lot of competition to the Heathrow market but you know it's a long way out and there's a lot of water that has to pass under the bridge a before the runway actually gets going and be to make sure that they actually get the slots that they wouldn't eight to operate all these flights. It's a pretty ambitious claim and bold putting it out there but I guess you have to start somewhere and then going hard so is this basically politicking by Virgin Atlantic. They're throwing down a market here very much so and really what they're attacking is the way that slots are allocated Ed. Hey throw the current logic sort of says that when the new runway opens and opens up a bunch of new slots for flights to come in and out is it they'll probably followed. Loyd the same way that they allocated and then that sees British Airways of course control a bit over half the slots there so be has been planning on taking a quite a lion's share of that so we've also saying that other airlines like Easyjet have shown some interest in to Heathrow if those slots became available so that have to pull up quite a coup to get all these additional also they would need to launch all these routes and then there's other things with the agreements between the United Kingdom and other Asian countries with actual slots from the other countries to fly there too so lot to sort out well you invoke the the name of Virgin Atlantic's Great Nemesis British Airways is is this staking of acclaimed by Virgin Atlantic something that should be seen within in the context of rivalry. I think that's a large part of it but the other big driver is that one of the big companies behind Virgin Atlantic apart from Richard Branson his Delta Airlines and since Delta bought a forty nine percent stake in the airline. They've really gone about who expand it and push it into different markets obviously tying up with Delta's network in the United States but Delta also has greg global ambitions and I think what we're seeing a bit here is Delta of pushing virgin to become part of that more global network that they're looking to build you should we therefore Frantisek county new or counterclaim by British Airways or or might they rise loftily above it. Is this one of those rivalries that matters rather all the more to the small participant on the larger one. I think in this one that British Airways again to probably fight back quite what quite strongly on that we've already seen some comments from the parent company. IHOP essentially saying that vision has a number of slots releasing out to other airlines. I want they using those I I think there's going to be very much a scramble on offer win. These thoughts do come available not only with the eye but with other foreign airlines as well who would like to increase capacity to throw so it'll be interesting to see what bonfire emerges at that time. What is the current thinking among airlines on. How likely the third runway actually happening is? I think a lot of airlines are quite hurtful but many airlines have also have been through this process any number of times. I think the third run wise been talked about for certainly as long as I've been in the industry that's been quite a while. Oh and with you politics being the why they are not that I'm any expert on that Boris Johnson of course famously put forward the Boris Laurus oil and alternative to to Heathrow while back so I suspect it might be hard to to get through but the reality is at the same time that Heathrow does need the additional runway needs the capacity and not doing so really hurt the economy of London mean all the things that could still happen to stop it from happening joining not too sure on the specifics at this point in time it it does look like it. It will go ahead but having said that we've been through that a few times before where it's been given the clearest indication that yes everything is going through and then something upsets the plan and it gets pushed further down the road. It's a I wouldn't necessarily rule out that happening again but really it is kind of you could actually passed the crunch point now. we act which this needs to be built. You made a brief allusion their to the current state of British politics and the B word does affect infect almost everything the thing is there any doubt in aviation circles about whether or not the fact of Brexit might have an impact on Heathrow as an important air how or do people just take the for granted as part of the architecture travel it has been something that has caused a bit of angst previously for a lot of airlines and I'm trying to work out how things will work pice brexit world. It seems that that angst is largely been assuaged that most airlines have their structures sit up to to work with you. Have that will work I think it's inevitable that even though brexit could cause some economic disruption that London will still be a city that lots of people will visit. It's going to be a place where people connect between North America through the rest of Europe and Africa and other continents so inevitably Heathrow itself itself. I think still has a a lodge harold apply now. Let's tell thank you for joining us.