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London Area Airports | LCY/LGW/LHR/LTN/SEN/STN

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UK flights soar 4.9 pct to record high in 2004

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Flights in Britain rose 4.9 percent to record levels in 2004 as low-cost airlines expanded and more people flew on cheap fares, UK air traffic control said Friday.

The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) said it handled 2.18 million flights in UK airspace during the year as transatlantic and domestic flights increased, as well as flights to and from Europe.

Budget travel has buoyed short-haul traffic from Europe, while routes across the Atlantic Ocean have recovered from a downturn following 2001 attacks on U.S. cities.

NATS said average delays per flight attributable to air traffic control fell to 25 seconds in the period from 44 seconds in 2003 and 97.5 percent of flights had no delays.

"Despite record numbers of flights, NATS delivered its best performance in 2004 on record," NATS Chief Executive Paul Barron said in a statement.

NATS hopes to cut flight delays and safety incidents by 2007 to help restore confidence in the organisation which was hit by a financial crisis after a slump in transatlantic air travel after 2001.

The partly privatised body is implementing a 1 billion pound ($1.88 billion) investment plan to modernise Britain's air-traffic control system before European Union plans to form a single network of air-traffic control zones.

NATS earns the bulk of its revenues from transatlantic flights.

Transatlantic arrivals and departures rose 7.4 percent in 2004, domestic rose 4.4 percent and other arrival and departures rose 7.5 percent.

The strongest growth areas were in Scottish air space, where flights increased 7.9 percent, and Manchester with growth of 6.9 percent.

NATS is 49 percent owned by the British government, 42 percent by a consortium of UK airlines, 4 percent by airports operator BAA Plc and 5 percent by NATS staff.

National Air Traffic: 2.18M Flights Used UK Airspace
7 January 2005

LONDON (Dow Jones)--National Air Traffic Services (NATS), the UK air traffic management provider, said Friday that in December 2004, it handled 165,045 flights, an increase of 5.3% over the same period in 2003.

Figures show that in 2004 NATS handled more flights than ever with fewer delays.

A total of 2,180,206 flights used U.K. airspace in 2004, a new annual record and an increase of 4.9% on 2003.

Despite rising traffic levels, service delivery showed significant improvement, with the average delay, per flight, attributable to NATS in 2004, falling to 25 seconds, compared to 44 seconds in 2003, a reduction of 43%.

The number of flights that experienced delays attributable to NATS fell markedly. In 2004, 97.5% of flights experienced no air traffic control delay, up from 95.2% in 2003.

The London Area Control Centre (LACC) at Swanwick, Hampshire, which handled over 1.7 million flights through 200,000 square miles of airspace above England and Wales, recorded its best performance ever in the latter part of 2004.

For a period of 24 consecutive days, between Nov. 27 and Dec. 20, there were no delays to flights attributable to Swanwick and of the 133,000 flights handled in December, only 36 received a delay attributable to the centre.
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Heathrow Terminal 5

After a decade of planning deliberations Heathrow Terminal 5 was finally given
the all clear in 2001. Construction is now at an advanced stage. Richard
Rogers's light, airy, and intuitive design will accommodate an additional 30
million passengers a year (taking Heathrow to nearly 100 million in total) and
also handle the new Airbus A380.

Here are a couple more pics of the layout of terminal and
satellites. In the second pic you can see their location between
the runways and relative to Terminals 1-3:

Construction pic from last year - now considerably out-of-date:

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^ Wow! The London to Bombay route is becoming very busy indeed! British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Air India already offer daily direct flights on this route. Jet Airways will be the fourth daily direct service. I'm surprised there are so few direct flights between London and Calcutta though.
^ BMI will also be offering London Mumbai flights from May 14th so that makes five airlines now!!
Fury greets new plan for Heathrow expansion,6903,1676272,00.html

- Government starts countdown to building third runway
- Mass campaign planned as eviction threat looms

Juliette Jowit and Gaby Hinsliff
Sunday January 1, 2006
The Observer

The bitterest environmental battle of a generation is set to erupt over government plans to give the go-ahead for a massive expansion of Heathrow airport.

Thousands could be forced to leave their homes, say campaigners who have pledged to block construction by all possible means.

Plans to build a third runway at what is already the world's busiest international airport were thought to have been frustrated because of the threat of air pollution from more flights.

But Chancellor Gordon Brown has indicated his determination to find a way round the problem, launching a new study aimed at 'identifying solutions that would allow' the runway to be built. The move reflects Brown's wider fears that the economy may suffer from years of wrangling over new ports, airports and roads.

The news has horrified green groups and local organisations. Yesterday they warned that giving the green light to Heathrow would trigger a huge backlash, not only from residents under the flight path but from the wider environmental movement.

John McDonnell, the Labour MP for the Hayes and Harlington constituency which lies next to the airport, met the aviation minister Karen Buck shortly before Christmas.

He confirmed that the government wanted to press ahead: 'The industry and government are doing everything they possibly can by way of trying to create an atmosphere of inevitability about Heathrow.' However, he warned they were not understanding the difficulty of the task: 'No matter what ministers want, they can't get round the science of air pollution. And they have underestimated the potential of an environmental campaign. My neighbouring Conservative MP, John Randall, has threatened to lie down in front of the bulldozers. We're getting Tory Swampys [green activists] on this.'

McDonnell claimed thousands of people could be forced to leave their homes because the airport extension would render them unlivable. However, other studies suggest the number of affected houses could be as low as several hundred.

Industry chiefs argue the British economy will lose billions of pounds if an over-congested Heathrow loses traffic to European rivals and businesses shun the UK to be nearer better international links.

In its aviation 2003 white paper, the government said Heathrow's expansion would be blocked or delayed for at least 10 to 15 years because of difficulties over noise and pollution. Instead, they recommended a new runway at Stansted airport in Essex.

However, in comments buried deep in his recent pre-Budget Report, which have only just emerged, the Chancellor stressed the economic importance of Heathrow's 'unique role in supporting economic growth across the country'.

And he detailed plans for 'extensive' modelling work to 'understand the nature and extent' of air quality problems at Heathrow, adding:

'This work is aimed at identifying solutions that would allow construction of a third runway to take place within relevant air quality limits.' Brown is known to want to speed up the planning process for major projects such as airports with more decisions taken on 'national and strategic' grounds - such as economic benefit - rather than becoming buried in years of local argument.

Ministers are also likely to get strong backing for Heathrow from a transport review by former BA airline chief executive Rod Eddington, expected this spring to recommend streamlining the planning process.

Campaigners said Brown's comments were a significant shift in favour of a third runway, reflecting both new research suggesting aircraft pollution was not as bad as feared and growing concerns that the airport operator, BAA, could not raise money to expand Stansted.

'While the focus is on Stansted, almost coming up on the inside track unnoticed is all this work on Heathrow,' said John Stewart, chairman of anti-expansion campaign group Hacan ClearSkies. '[Brown] is not going to say something if he doesn't think it's going to happen.'

Tony Bosworth, of Friends of the Earth, warned the environmental impact would be the biggest since the controversial road schemes at Twyford Down and Newbury in the Nineties: 'It will be a huge cause célèbre for the environmental movement.'

Lord Soley, a former west London Labour MP and campaign director for the pro-expansion group Future Heathrow, said both the Chancellor and Prime Minister supported the case for Heathrow, adding: 'Tony and Gordon recognise the way the world economy is changing and the idea we have got to be at the cutting edge of technology in Europe. That means we can't allow one of the key high-tech industries, airports and aircraft, to fall behind.'

A Treasury source said Brown saw a strong case for making airport expansion in the UK easier but added: 'People are waiting for Eddington's review before there is any movement.' Final options for Heathrow will not be put to ministers until this autumn. The shift has prompted speculation that the government is retreating over the idea of developing Stansted.
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Norman Foster has been chosen to design the huge new Heathrow East project so Heathrow terminals will feature the work of Richard Rogers at Terminal 5 (also designed Madrid Barajas) and Norman Foster who designed London Stansted and the vast airports at Hong Kong and Beijing. :)

Norman Foster chosen to design Heathrow East terminal^ac4597dc2eb12010VgnVCM100000147e120a____

BAA today outlined its vision to continue the transformation of Heathrow Airport beyond the completion of Terminal 5.

BAA revealed the early stages of a proposal, which considers the demolition of Terminal 2 and the Queens Building, the oldest parts of the airport, to build a single, state-of-the-art facility capable of handling up to 30 million passengers. The size and location of the site would allow BAA to build without unduly disrupting day to day operations, and allow easy connection to existing road and rail infrastructure.

Following today’s announcement, BAA intends to discuss the idea formally with airlines to assess the viability of the project. The project would also be dependent on regulatory support from the Civil Aviation Authority. Very early indications are that an incremental net cost of £1.0 - £1.5 billion would be required to deliver this proposal, but the figures depend on timing and the airlines’ requirements.

The idea, called Heathrow East, would create a new terminal to match the main Terminal 5 building in terms of scale and ambiance and equal or surpass it in terms of form and function. Passengers would benefit from contemporary design and planning, including an enhanced retail experience, while the new building would help Heathrow meet its targets for lower energy use. If the proposal were to receive the go-ahead, it would also allow BAA further options for the closure or redevelopment of Terminal 1 and the space it occupies. The plan does not involve any net increase in passenger capacity.

The combination of Terminal 5, Heathrow East and planned modifications and renovations to Terminals 3 and 4 would result in a transformed Heathrow, with unrivalled global connections, quicker and simpler transit, and convenient public transport links.

Mick Temple, Managing Director, BAA Heathrow said:
“The significant increase in capacity created by Terminal 5 gives us a once in a lifetime opportunity to look at the rest of Heathrow and think creatively about how we can use our current very limited space better. We are excited by the idea of Heathrow East, but at the moment it is still just an idea. We aim to discuss the possibilities with our airlines and the CAA to see if we can make it a reality. Our vision is to create the world’s greatest international hub airport in the world’s greatest city.”

Mike Forster, Business Strategy Director, BAA Heathrow commented:
“If we go ahead with this development it would help Heathrow to become an airport with terminal facilities and an airfield layout consistent with both efficient operations and a world-class experience for passengers. For passengers, our vision translates into a much easier journey through the terminals and unrivalled onward connectivity - by air and by easy access to road and rail links.”
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hkskyline said:
London route falls victim to cuts as JAL losses triple
7 February 2006
Financial Times

Japan Airlines, Asia's leading carrier, yesterday reported wider third quarter net losses and said it would halve the number of weekly flights between Tokyo and London in an effort to cut costs.

Net losses for the three months to the end of December nearly tripled to Y11.1bn (Dollars 93m), compared with a Y3.7bn loss a year earlier. The former flag carrier blamed high fuel prices - 30 per cent more than the same period last year - and sluggish domestic and international demand on some routes.

As part of its efforts to bring its international operations back to profit by 2007, the carrier confirmed it would suspend four international routes: Tokyo to Las Vegas; Osaka to Los Angeles; Komatsu to Seoul; and Hiroshima to Seoul. These represent 10 per cent of its international capacity.

JAL also said it would halve its flights between Tokyo and London to seven flights per week from 14, and reduce its Tokyo-Bangkok route to 14 flights per week from 21.

"I was surprised by the Tokyo-London cut, because though it's small in terms of what it might save JAL, it's quite a high-profile route," said Eiro Taniguchi, analyst at Standard and Poor's in Tokyo. "JAL's mission of making its international operations profitable by next year could be challenging, because factors like passenger demand and oil prices are out of its control."

Domestically, JAL said its business and individualpassenger demand was stagnant, due to negative publicity stemming from a series of safety-related incidents. Total domestic passenger demand fell 1.5 per cent from a year earlier.

"On domestic flights, demand from individuals such as business travellers was slow, while group tours were brisk," said Toshiyuki Kawarabata, a vice president at JAL.

JAL maintained its full-year net loss forecast of Y47bn. For the year to March 2006, JAL expects the safety issues adversely to impact its revenue by Y32bn; total revenues are expected to be Y2,195bn.

JAL said tourist demand to China had not recovered from the anti-Japan riots last April.

The third quarter results of All Nippon Airways were in contrast to JAL's. Last week, ANA said third-quarter net income almost doubled to Y10.2bn on strong travel demand and the company raised its full-year profit outlook by 70 per cent to Y17bn.
Bad news! Hopefully BA, Virgin, or ANA will step in and add an additional 7 weekly London-Tokyo flights to cover the drop in frequency from JAL.
Dubai and Hong Kong now second only to New York as London's favourite long haul

Demand is exploding to Dubai and Hong Kong! There will soon be twelve daily flights from London to Dubai and eleven to Hong Kong. Chicago currently has eleven daily flights but they are in smaller planes and enjoy lower loading factors. However this is still well below the more than 27 daily flights (190 per week) that depart London for New York.

London-Dubai (84):
Emirates fly an astonishing eight daily flights to London Heathrow and Gatwick. British Airways also offers a twice daily service, Royal Brunei offer the eleventh, and Virgin Atlantic will offer the twelth daily service by June 1st. Emirates have ordered 45 x A380s (nearly a third of the total ordered number of A380s by all airlines worldwide) and will use them first on their London route. This will only increase capacity and reduce prices even further.

- Emirates = 56
- British Airways = 14
- Virgin Atlantic = 7
- Royal Brunei = 7

London-Hong Kong (77):
Capacity will have virtually doubled to Hong Kong in the last 12 months by the time Air New Zealand's newly announced Hong Kong service commences from October 28th. British Airways recently went from two daily to three daily and Cathay Pacific upped its offer from three to four. Qantas recently upped its frequency to daily and Virgin Atlantic adds the ninth daily service. Air New Zealand will add a tenth daily service from late October and longhaul start-up Oasis Airlines will add services to Gatwick from late summer which will create eleven daily London-Hong Kong services on the days that they fly (daily?). Almost all of these services use the largest aircraft flying (Boeing 747-400s, 777s, or A340-600s).

- Cathay Pacific = 28
- British Airways = 21
- Virgin Atlantic = 7
- Qantas Airways = 7
- Air New Zealand = 7
- Oasis Airlines = 7 (?)

....and for comparison:

London-Chicago (77):
- American Airlines = 35
- United Airlines = 21
- British Airways = 21

London-New York (190):
- British Airways = 68
- Virgin Atlantic = 42
- American Airlines = 41
- Continental = 18
- United Airlines = 7
- Eos Airlines = 7
- MaxJet = 7

A skyscraper lover's charter! :eek:kay:
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^ I agree. Traffic to Hong Kong and Dubai will never rival New York. However the fact that non-stop traffic from London to Hong Kong, despite all the potential alternative routings you mention, nonetheless eclipses traffic to much closer and also larger European cities, such as Moscow or Istanbul, is notable enough. The route is also far stronger than any other route between any other Western and E/SE Asian city pair. For instance the traffic from London to Hong Kong alone is greater than the traffic from the whole of France to the whole of China (including Hong Kong). I believe the London-Hong Kong route is also busier than traffic from the whole of the US to the whole of China too! That is significant!! It also amazes me that Hong Kong now eclipses Chicago. British Airways and American Airlines are Oneworld partners and London and Chicago are their respective hubs. The potential for transfers between these two mega hubs and mega airlines is therefore enormous (they are the 2nd and 3rd largest airports in the world and the two airlines are biggest carrier and biggest international and long-haul carrier respectively). A great deal of the traffic from Britain/Europe to small American cities will transfer in Chicago. Likewise a great deal of American traffic to Europe, Africa, Middle East, South Asia etc will transfer through London. Meanwhile Hong Kong traffic has now eclipsed Chicago despite Hong Kong only being a useful hub for Taiwan, Manila, and Kangaroo route traffic (and on the Kangaroo route Hong Kong currently ranks fourth behind Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Dubai....) so the strength of the London-Hong Kong route is all the more remarkable based, as it seems, primarily on traffic between the two cities themselves. I take it as a sign that Hong Kong is triumphing over rival contendors such as Tokyo, Shanghai, or Singapore as the primary international financial centre for the Asia-Pacific region.
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