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Britain ‘stuck up a branch line’ warns CBI

[ April 23, 2012   //   ]

The UK risks becoming “a branch-line destination”, and will find it increasingly hard to compete in global export markets, without a clear aviation strategy which deals with short, medium and longer-term needs, warned a CBI luminary. In a speech to a Transport Times conference, ‘A new strategy for UK aviation’ on 18 April, chief policy director Katja Hall, said there was an urgent need for action to underpin UK exports and investment.

Ms Hall said: “The UK has used its transatlantic geography over the last half century to put itself at the centre of the international air network.

But as the global economy moves east and south, constraints at a hub airport running at 99% capacity are preventing airlines from meeting demand for flights to growth markets in emerging economies. Every day, we’re ceding ground to competitors. There are now seven major cities in China served by the airports in Frankfurt, Paris or Amsterdam that aren’t served by direct flights from the UK. Germany now has 60 direct air links a week with China, twice as many as the UK.”

 

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