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Travel Trade Gazette 27.10.2016 TTGMEDIA.COM

Pippa Jacks Editor

Eastern hubs have grown apace, a decision on UK airport expansion has finally been made. Transport secretary Chris Grayling revealed on Tuesday the government will back expansion at Heathrow, but with another year before the House of Commons actually votes on the matter, the plan is far from having been cleared for take-off. Much like the aircraft circling Heathrow this


afternoon, the challenges in getting the project under way are stacked high: securing ministerial support, legal threats by local residents and pressure groups, and how exactly the UK can expand its air capacity without exceeding its carbon emissions targets, are all obstacles in the flight path. If and when the expansion finally begins, the

question for passengers flying from Heathrow will be – at what cost to them? The government this week insisted that expansion should not be at the expense of travellers themselves, and Heathrow has made the rather bold claim that gaining additional capacity will increase competition, reduce over-demand, and bring air fares down by as much £300 per return ticket. Even if those calculations are accurate for the short-

term, the rate of growth in demand is such that even an expanded Heathrow will soon see its extra capacity filled – so those cheaper fares might not last for long. Airlines are concerned the costs of the project could

be passed onto passengers in the form of increased landing fees – with Willie Walsh insisting the current £40 landing fee on a return flight at Heathrow could be as much as doubled. On top of Air Passenger Duty and the anticipated rise in fuel costs next year, could an increase in landing fees be an increase too far for some clients? Funding, like every other aspect of the Heathrow

project, must be nailed down as quickly as possible, so the expanded network, greater range of carriers and improved domestic connectivity that Heathrow promises can be delivered as quickly as possible. Otherwise it might take the UK another 40 years to catch up.

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TTG is the Official Media Partner responsible for the Official Daily Publications at WTM 2016 37 04 NEWS.

10 Conference report: News from the ttgluxury Seminar 12 City: AccorHotels’ UK occupancy rate is boosted by the weaker pound 14 Cruise: Agents in Liverpool are welcoming the City Council’s plans for a new cruise terminal 16 Round-up: Contiki unveils European itineraries for millennials, while Thomson Lakes and Mountains’ summer 2017 programme is out 18 ITT: Former chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne will address the next ITT Conference


Sojern research: Orlando and New York set to take the tops spots as favourite Christmas long-haul destinations for UK families


27 Martin Alcock sees an uncanny similarity between the government’s Brexit strategy and getting stranded in Peru: “My decision to head into the unknown without a map seems sadly analogous to the shambles in which the UK finds itself.”


28 Selling Power: TTG joins Latin Routes and Silversea on the Thames to learn about South America 31 Technology: Talking digital first with’s Arnaud Masson 32 Marketing Magic: How to propel your agency up the Google rankings 33WTM London:What’s in it for travel agents this year? 34 Mystery Shopper: Christmas comes early to Lisburn, Northern Ireland with our markets request


37 On Our Radar: There’s plenty of filling in the Sandwich Islands, also known as Hawaii 39Weddings & Honeymoons: Something old, something new (for tour operator inspiration); clients can now say “high do” at Brighton’s BAi360; agents turn wedding planners with Beachcomber Tours; Hot List 51 Christmas Markets: Bruges or Brussels? We do both to help you steer clients; Shearings’ tips for maximising bookings; Hot List

62GETAWAY. Gossip, news, puzzles

and more! 27.10.2016 03

fter 40 years of stalling, during which European and Middle


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