Six regional airports to gain Heathrow links

Six UK airports expected to gain links to Heathrow – once a third runway at the London hub is built – have been named.

New connections are due to be provided from Belfast International, Liverpool, Newquay, Prestwick, Humberside and Durham Tees Valley by 2030, bringing the total to 14.

The eight existing Heathrow domestic routes cover Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Belfast City, Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds Bradford.

The expanded connectivity requirement for Heathrow (pictured) emerged as transport secretary Chris Grayling outlined plans for a public consultation on a new runway.

New capacity available at Heathrow once a third runway is in operation from 2025 will also allow connections to up to 40 more long-haul destinations, such as Wuhan, Osaka and Quito, according to the airport.

Grayling said: “By backing the north-west runway at Heathrow airport and publishing our proposals, we are sending a clear signal that when we leave the EU, we are open for business.”

Andrew Cornish, chief executive at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, commented: “The government has clearly set out that it will hold Heathrow airport to account on securing a number of new domestic routes to regions currently underserved including Liverpool.

“We have been a long-time supporter of Heathrow’s plans for a third runway and will respond to the government’s consultation supporting the need to secure these new domestic links, knowing that regional airports such as Liverpool can benefit by the future opening up of access to the UK’s hub airport for improved worldwide connectivity.”

Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, added: “The draft airports national policy statement is welcomed by our airline members as a pivotal point in unlocking progress on delivering a bigger, better and more affordable Heathrow that will best serve the future needs of our customers and the whole nation.”