In its submission to the UK’s Airport Commission, Gatwick builds its case for investment on claims that competing London gateways would trump a single hub by cutting travel costs and safeguarding connectivity.While Heathrow sees a focus on a single large hub as the best way to safeguard London’s connectivity, Gatwick argues most passengers through the city start or end their journey there. “IATA figures show that the majority (93%) of journeys using London airports are for passengers that either begin their journey from our airports or fly to them as a final destination,” said Gatwick in a statement. For Gatwick, travellers stand to gain more from competition between gateways than from a focus on a single hub. Gatwick’s vision is to spread capacity so that three two-runway airports – Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted – can compete for airlines and customers, a Gatwick spokesperson told Routes News. Heathrow and Gatwick have already clashed on the issue, with Heathrow claiming Korean Air's decision to drop a Gatwick–Seoul service reveals the problems of running long-haul flights from a non-hub airport. But Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate described a mega-hub solution as “yesterday’s solution to tomorrow’s problem”. “We must not be blindly led to believe that because some of our European competitors serve more marginal routes to emerging markets, that we are falling behind them or that this is happening because Heathrow is full,” he said. Gatwick sees recent new routes to Moscow and Indonesia as evidence it can safeguard London’s connectivity, especially for key emerging markets. While Heathrow’s slots are full, Gatwick has 25% spare capacity – mainly outside business peak hours – opening up long-haul options, said a Gatwick spokesperson. But a Heathrow spokesperson denied London’s long-haul connections could survive without a hub approach. “Hub airports use transfer passengers to support long haul routes which otherwise wouldn’t be viable,” the spokesperson told Routes News. “That's why Heathrow flies to more than 70 long haul destinations which Gatwick doesn't. Having a successful hub is good for passengers, good for business and good for the UK.”Source: routesnews, Piers Evans
Gravity always wins!