Guild of Travel Management Companies, a UK-based professional association of travel companies, is reporting that the UK is currently in need of at least 10 new direct air routes to support its business travellers.
The top 10 most urgently required new direct air routes from London Heathrow airport includes Bogota (Colombia); Brasilia (Brazil); Chengdu (China); Dammam (Saudi Arabia); Douala (Cameroon); Lima (Peru); Panama City (Panama); Phuket (Thailand); Santiago (Chile); and Shenzhen (China).
The association chairman, Ajaya Sodha, said, ‘Any discussion about increasing airport capacity in the south-east hinges on its link to growth.
It is business travellers that ‘do the deals’ that will mean more exports, investment and jobs for the UK economy and they need to be able to access target markets easily and speedily.
We urge the government to insist that any decision on allowing mixed mode or night flights is dependent on these routes being added to the roster at Heathrow.’
The association is currently participating in a new lobbying campaign to pressurize London Heathrow airport to offer direct flights to the 10 routes identified by the association as most required for air travel.
The Ten Routes for Growth campaign is being led by political lobbyist, Gareth Morgan, who is an associate director with Cavendish Communications and an advisor to the association.
Gareth Morgan said, ‘We have been trying to persuade politicians that there is the need for new capacity in the south-east. We have reached the point now where that argument has almost been won and it becomes about battling over where that capacity will come from.’