Travel management companies urge expansion of South East airports

A cluster of the UK’s leading travel management firms has stressed that the expansion of air capacity at South East will prove vital to Britain’s economic prospects.

Cited by conference-news.co.uk, the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) says an apparent lack of services at Heathrow and Gatwick is causing travellers to use non-UK airports in order to reach their destinations.

The group highlighted that if UK-based travellers are not flying from their own airports, Britain is losing out on huge amounts of business travel spend.

At the other end of the scale, if foreign business travel cannot fly into Britain due to a lack of services, they may look to attend events in other nations where flights can be obtained.

Speaking in light of the recent publication of the Davies Airports Commission, which examines the need for additional air capacity in the UK, GTMC chief executive Paul Wait said the reality of a lack of services is being felt by the business traveller.

He added that having a world leading hub airport will be critical to the UK’s role as a global business centre, but criticised the lengthy process involved in pushing this forward. 

“While we support the options set out by the Commission we are united with other business representatives in regretting that we will still have to wait another 18 months before the final report is received and then an unknown amount of time before the government of the day allows the favoured project to proceed,” he added.

According to gov.uk, an interim version of the report has called for at least one additional runway to be added to any one of the South East airports by 2030.