Heathrow rail service strike 4th June
May 30th, 2014 by elisa

A 24 hour strike on the Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services has been announced for 4th June.

Rail union RMT has instructed all Heathrow Express members to take strike action from 03.00 hours on Wednesday June 4, 2014 until 02.59 hours on Thursday June 5, 2014 in response to an ongoing dispute over cuts.

The union claims 201 jobs are now under threat of redundancy because of the rail service’s plans to re-organise its workforce in order to save £6 million over the next five years.

It says the attack on jobs and working conditions are a result of the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to cut £600 million from Heathrow Airport’s budget over the same period.

Tube strike 2014: causes chaos for passengers to airports
Apr 29th, 2014 by elisa

A 48 hour tube strike means passengers are struggling to get to London airports from today.

In addition to the Tube services, Heathrow said that its Heathrow Express and Connect overland services to and from the airport are also being disrupted.

A statement on the website said: “Due to the planned London Underground strikes, our trains are likely to be busier than usual so please allow more time for your journey.”

The Piccadilly Line is only operating between Acton Town and the Heathrow’s Terminals 1,2 and 3 and there is no Heathrow Connect service.

National Express is operating additional services between Heathrow and Victoria coach station during the strike period, however the coach operator has warned that some services may be subject to delays due to the impact of the strike.

All train services on the Gatwick Express are currently running normally, as are railways services to London City, however passengers are advised to leave extra time for their journeys.

The RMT union is striking over London Underground’s plans to close ticket offices and cut 960 jobs. It has warned that if the dispute is not resolved, then a second 72-hour strike, is planned to begin at 9pm on 5th May.

Airport expansion recommendations
Dec 18th, 2013 by elisa

The Airports Commission report published yesterday has recommended extra runways to be built at Heathrow and Gatwick.

The recommendation is contrary to the Boris-backed Thames Estuary options because ‘there are too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage’. The Mayor of London said in the Guardian that the plans to have the hub airport at the Thames Estuary are “not dead yet” as he has another six months to put forward new arguments in favour of the idea.

The current recommendation is for a new runway south of the existing one at Gatwick Airport. For Heathrow there are two options – a new 3,500m runway to the northwest and extending the existing northern runway to at least 6,000m enabling it to operate as two independent runways.

The report also advises on an ‘optimisation strategy’ to improve UK airport efficiency with better en route traffic management systems to keep airlines to schedule. It also recommends enhancing rail and road access to make other airlines with spare capacity more attractive to passengers.

Launching the report Sir Howard Davies Chair of the Commission said: “Decisions on airport capacity are important national strategic choices and must be based upon the best evidence available.

“This report is the product of extensive consultation, independent analysis and careful consideration by the commissioners.

“The capacity challenge is not yet critical but it will become so if no action is taken soon and our analysis clearly supports the provision of one net additional runway by 2030.”

The report’s findings have not been wholly welcomed, with the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) stating that the wide-spaced runway at the airport is the option that will cause the most environmental damage.

Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Craig Kreeger also outlined the wider issue on UK hub capacity: “Although Gatwick is a very important airport to us, additional runway capacity there does not address the UK’s chronic hub capacity shortage.”

David Cameron set up the review in order to delay a final decision on expansion plans until after the 2015 election. When the coalition came in to power they scrapped the former Labour government’s plans for a third runway at Heathrow, but now the line on the issue has softened and could look set for a u-turn.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the BBC on Sunday that the government would stick to its pledge not to build a new runway at Heathrow ‘in this Parliament’.

Heathrow gets in the Easter spirit
Mar 27th, 2013 by elisa

Courtesy of Heathrow Airports Limited

Courtesy of Heathrow Airports Limited

It may be the busiest time of the year so far for Heathrow; but this Easter, the airport is preparing to make the experience as pleasant and seasonal as possible for passengers.

An expected 1.2 million passengers are expected to travel through the airport over the Easter break. Thursday will be the busiest for departures, with 116,000 jetting off on holiday.

Over the entire two-week school break, it anticipates 3.6 million total passengers, with over 40% more families. In preparation, there will be a welcome area for families, created in partnership with Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit™. He will be on hand to present storytelling and arts and craft sessions over the holiday period. There will also be free Peter Rabbit™ Passport activity booklets and chocolate treats distributed across all terminals.

Heathrow will also put on more staff, including 150 passenger ambassadors in the terminals to help direct parents to dedicated family lanes in security and free play areas in the departure lounges. The airport’s restaurants are also prepared for the holiday season with Kids Eat Free offers, high chairs and fun packs.

Those checking in to Terminal 5 will also be treated to performances from the London Philharmonic Orchestra.


If you travel through Heathrow this Easter, let us know about your experience! Comment below, or tweet us @villaseek 

Bank holiday bonanza for airports
Jun 24th, 2011 by jason

April saw record traffic growth for many UK airports, thanks to two bank holiday weekends and the bounce-back from the previous April’s figures, which had been heavily dented by the volcanic ash problem.

Gatwick did best of the London airports, reporting growth of 34.2 per cent, with an additional 702,500 passengers compared with April 2010. Heathrow was up by 31.5 per cent and Stansted by 26.2 per cent.

In the North, Manchester saw passenger numbers grow by 32.5 per cent, while in Scotland, Edinburgh was up by a whopping 43.9 per cent and Aberdeen by 33.2 per cent.

The fastest growth came in scheduled international traffic, with charter and domestic flights lagging behind.


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