Singapore Airlines held its 25th Annual Parliamentary Reception yesterday at the Terrace Pavilion, House of Commons. Hosted by Mary Macleod, Conservative MP for Brentford and Isleworth, the reception was attended by UK and international media as well as UK MPs and industry representatives.
Singapore Airlines was honoured to welcome Lord Attlee, Government Spokesman for Transport, who joined Mr. Phee Teik Yeoh, Singapore Airlines General Manager for the UK & Ireland, in addressing the reception.
The event was opened by Mr. Yeoh, who expressed his hope that Singapore Airlines will continue to grow the number of flights operated in the United Kingdom, following its 40 years of flying from London Heathrow. Mr Yeoh also stressed Singapore Airlines’ commitment to improving connectivity between the UK and East Asia, emphasising the importance of long distance business aviation to commerce as trade relations continue to grow.
Mr. Yeoh used the occasion to outline Singapore Airlines’ position in the debate over aviation taxes and the environment. He emphasised that Singapore Airlines believes the answer to balancing aviation growth with the need to reduce carbon emissions is to incentivise airlines to purchase the best aircraft and develop greener solutions and practices.
He continued that the company were opposed to the EU’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme, which comes into force for aviation from next year. Mr. Yeoh argued that it is impractical for some economic zones to have an emissions trading scheme for aviation and others not to. Instead, Singapore Airlines would prefer a global emissions trading scheme for aviation under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation in order to achieve a fair outcome and to incentivise the change needed.
Finally, Mr. Yeoh expressed concerns about the lack of capacity at airports serving London, in particular Heathrow. This leads to a lack of flexibility and the fact that a large proportion of arrivals into Heathrow are required to ‘stack’ which leads to unwanted additional noise, emissions and fuel usage, as well as compromising airlines’ schedules, and the efficiency of Heathrow. Mr. Yeoh called upon the government to recognise the demand for flights to airports close to London as it assesses its aviation policy and current stance on no runway expansion in the South East.
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