Support for Heathrow plummets

Report shows preference for expansion of regional airports

Support for the expansion of Heathrow continues to plummet among passengers, according to the World Travel Market 2014 Industry Report.


In 2012 the report saw that more than a third (34%) supported it, while in 2013 the figure dropped dramatically to 10%

Now it is just 16%.

The WTM 2014 Industry Report is a poll of 1,011 British holidaymakers who took a minimum seven-day summer holiday overseas or in the UK in 2014.

The report show that passengers have a preference for the expansion of regional airports instead.

Planned regional flights to US

In the past week alone United and American have announced new non-stop flights from airports North of London to the US for summer 2015.

United will operate five weekly flights between Newcastle and Newark, while American will fly a daily 82-seater Boeing 757 between Birmingham and New York JFK.

Currently United fly six times a week between Birmingham New York Newark.

Furthermore, at Edinburgh Airport, Ryanair is planning to expand and Etihad Airways is to launch a daily Edinburgh to Abu Dhabi service from June 2015.

Politically toxic Heathrow

The political opposition to Heathrow expansion, already huge, is set to grow ahead of the UK election in May 2015.

According to a report in The Observer, The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (MP for Runnymede & Weybridge), and the London mayor, Boris Johnson, will refuse to support their own party’s policy on airport expansion at the next election.

They are among a batch of Tories of cabinet or equivalent rank who are expected to rebel against the official party line, which is that no decision on a new runway would be taken before the Airports Commission gives its recommendation in summer 2015.

Boris continues to push for an estuary airport. Other leading Tories with south-eastern constituencies who have spoken out against a 3rd Heathrow runway include the Home Secretary, Theresa May (MP for Maidenhead); the international development secretary, Justine Greening (MP for Putney); and the Northern Ireland secretary, Theresa Villiers (MP for Chipping Barnet) and Zac Goldsmith (MP for Richmond Park).

Senior Liberal Democrats, including the business secretary, Vince Cable, who is MP for Twickenham, are also against the expansion of Heathrow, as are several Labour MPs with west London constituencies.

Watch BBC reporter Stephen Sackur deliver the report at World Travel Market 2014 in London.