Business flying in decline for over a decade

Aeroplane © Fotolia

In response to the publication of the interim report of the Airports Commission today, WWF says that there is no business case for airport expansion in the UK.

Business flying has been in decline for over a decade, both at Heathrow and across the UK, a trend which evidence shows is likely to continue.

Any new runway at Heathrow or elsewhere would be incompatible with the UK Climate Change Act. The UK has sufficient available capacity for aviation to grow within the limits recommended by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

Jean Leston, transport policy manager, said: “It's a shame that the Airports Commission thinks we need more runways, and probably at Heathrow, to provide more routes to emerging markets. We think you can do this without pouring more concrete and wrecking our climate targets. The fact is, business is flying less and expansion at Heathrow will be used mostly for leisure travel.

"Expanding Heathrow for more leisure flying is an environmental travesty.”

Analysis of publically available figures shows that business flights in the UK are down 23% at Heathrow since 2000 and that business fights over the whole of the UK are down 13% over the same period.

As part of our One in Five Challenge programme - under which businesses are challenged to cut flights - some of the UK’s leading companies have cut their flights on average by 38% and saved over £2 million over the last three years.

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