Heathrow press releases

28 May, 2015

Heathrow: Scotland’s Global Gateway

Terminal 5 exterior


Scotland will benefit from increased flight frequency, more freight capacity for exporters, more competition between airlines and lower fares for passengers with Heathrow expansion, according to a new document published today by the hub airport.

‘Scotland’s Global Gateway’ outlines how as the UK’s only hub airport Heathrow complements Scottish airports to help Scottish business and passengers reach the new and prosperous markets they need to grow. With more flights a day from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen to Heathrow than any other airport and as one of only six airports in the world with regular flights to over 50 long haul destinations, it is the launch pad for Scottish enterprise and the red carpet for tourists and international investment.
Expanding Heathrow would create up to 16,100 jobs in Scotland, four times as many as any other option, and £14bn in economic benefits for Scotland.

Scotland’s Global Gateway sets out how:

  • As Britain’s most important freight port by value, Heathrow expansion will make it cheaper and quicker to get Scottish goods to market. In fact, Heathrow’s biggest export by tonnage is Scottish Salmon - £280million of which passed through Heathrow last year. Expansion would double freight capacity at Heathrow, helping Scottish products get to export markets.
  • Heathrow has committed to a package of measures which would result in better timed and more frequent flights between Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen airports and a start-up fund to support new links to un-served airports like Dundee.  easyJet has also published an indicative route network which would see a new link between Inverness and Heathrow with expansion.
  • Heathrow expansion will allow new airlines to operate, providing more competition and lower fares for passengers. Frontier Economics found tickets on average will be £300 lower in 2030 with expansion than without, and the airports commission has confirmed that the potential for ticket price reduction is greater with Heathrow than any other option
  • There is huge and growing support in Scotland and across the UK for Heathrow expansion, with more than 30 local chambers of commerce and Glasgow and Aberdeen airports backing our plans.


Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

"Heathrow expansion will create up to £211bn of economic growth and 180,000 jobs across the whole UK. Scotland alone will see £14bn of growth and 16,000 new Scottish jobs. This is a significant prize that is greater than any other expansion option. 

Public funding of around £1bn would only be needed for road and rail upgrades, as has happened at other UK airports. With Heathrow expansion delivering £211bn additional growth for the British economy, that represents fantastic value for money for the UK."


Heathrow’s expansion plans have significant support from key business leaders across Scotland, including:


Amanda McMillan, MD Glasgow Airport: “Heathrow is a national asset for the whole of the UK. However, with Heathrow operating at 99% capacity, we are already seeing a significant impact on Scotland’s ability to continue to compete in the global race for growth.”

Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive, Inverness Chamber of Commerce: “We also believe that Heathrow’s proposal recognises the economic importance and potential of all regions of the UK. Highland businesses are increasingly operating competitively in the global market place, and in spite of our unfit for purpose infrastructure, the region has enjoyed consistent economic growth. Nevertheless, this cannot be sustained for much longer without improved connectivity.”

Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive, easyJet: “Heathrow is in the best interests of passengers as it has the greatest demand. It is clear that long haul airlines want to expand at Heathrow and if they can’t, they will do so not at Gatwick but at other airports such as Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
Heathrow does not currently have low cost, short haul airlines but an expanded Heathrow would allow airlines like easyJet to operate there – providing more competition which will mean new routes, more services and lower fares.”

Ian Veitch, President, Freight Transport Association: “It is imperative that we recognise the inherent advantages Heathrow has as a worldclass, global air freight hub and the unique benefits this brings not just to the South East of England but to Britain as a whole.”


Oliver Richardson, National Officer, Unite the Union: “Unite the Union fully supports the expansion and continued growth of Heathrow as the UK’s hub airport, as it is vital for the economy, the maintenance of decent jobs and the sustainability of local communities. Only growth at Heathrow can connect the UK globally on the scale that is required.”


The full document can be viewed by downloading from the external assets section on the right. 


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