Less frequent links into Asia than Europe is causing the UK to fall behind, according to the International Air Transport Associations (IATA) head who said more connectivity into emerging markets was vital for the regions continued success.
Chief executive Tony Tyler explained that while it supported the countrys decision for further development at Heathrow, it needed more frequent connections with 27 emerging markets in order to stay ahead of the game.
If the UK wants to do business with these developing markets, air connectivity is the enabler, Mr Tyler said.
Among the most important route the UK would need to get behind include direct air services to developing destinations including Manila, Jakarta, Santiago, Chengdu, Shenyang and Guangzhou.
For a fraction of the cost of building a new airport, the UK could get all the additional capacity needed to ensure that Heathrow continues as a great aviation hub and without the economic dislocation of moving 220,000 jobs that depend on Heathrow, Mr Tyler added.
According to IATA, up to 205 million people are expected to travel to and from the UK in 2015 with up to one in seven likely to be international arrivals.
The Government needs to make Heathrows expansion a priority in a competitive new UK aviation policy so that the UK can realize the economic benefits of connectivity and continue to punch above its weight globally, he concluded.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J