ABTA, The Travel Association has today welcomed Sir Howard Davies, Chairman of the Airports Commission for a breakfast briefing highlighting the importance of good international and regional connectivity, the valuable role of leisure aviation in sustaining this, the need to improve the passenger experience, and the vital importance of world class surface access to the UK’s airports.
The meeting came as research for ABTA carried out by ComRes revealed that 7 in 10 of MPs (70%) think that the UK risks being left behind competitively if a comprehensive plan to increase airport capacity is not prioritised.
In the briefing, the first with a key focus on leisure aviation, Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive highlighted the vital role that inbound and outbound tourism plays in economic growth and the important role of leisure aviation, including via the UK’s hub airport.
More than 80 per cent of passengers flying to and from the UK are doing so for leisure purposes, highlighting leisure aviation’s important role in supporting the growth of business routes, including to emerging markets.
ABTA’s consumer research also shows that passengers hugely value the ability to connect quickly to other UK destinations seamlessly. Over half (52%) of those surveyed prefer a journey time to the airport of less than an hour. 86% of passengers would be unhappy to travel for longer than two hours, highlighting the importance of building high quality public transport into future plans.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said:
“ABTA fully supports the call for increased aviation capacity. The fact is that aviation is a major asset to the UK economy as a wealth creator and a job creator.
“Business and leisure travel are inextricably linked; developing a single plan that delivers for both sectors is the best way to ensure maximum economic benefit.
“Whichever option emerges as the preferred solution will need cross-party political support. What businesses, investors and customers want to see now is commitment from all three parties to accepting the analysis and recommendations of the Davies Commission”