Construction of a third runway at London Heathrow could open
London service for five new U.S. cities and open Heathrow to cities currently
served only by flights to London Gatwick, according to an OAG analysis.
The British Parliament approved construction of the third
runway in June, but the opening is years away, with a planned completion date
in 2026. The runway is expected to enable 260,000 more departures and arrivals
per year at Heathrow, which is Europe's busiest airport.
Anchorage, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and St.
Louis are the five U.S. cities that OAG said are likely to get London service after
"These destinations could be described as the marginal
cities, which are destinations where connecting traffic across airline
alliances is crucial to the commercial success of the service," OAG said
in its report titled, "The Heathrow Forecast: Growth, Expansion and New
Markets." "Since we are projecting nearly 10 years out on what could
be possible, we have assumed that current marginal cities will have developed
from their current sizes and be capable of supporting services from London, and
particularly an airport such as Heathrow where connectivity will be available."
OAG senior analyst John Grant said that in composing the
study, researchers looked at connecting flight demand to London. They also
considered cities that have lost London service due to industry consolidation
as well as cities, such as Cincinnati, that have service to other European
cities but not London.
OAG identified Fort Lauderdale, Oakland, Orlando and Tampa
as cities with current flights to London Gatwick that are likely to add
Heathrow service once the third runway is open.
In addition, Heathrow could see an additional 4.4 million
annual passengers departing on long-haul, low-cost flights with the third
runway. U.S beneficiaries of those flights would likely include Los Angeles, New
York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Washington, Orlando, Dallas, Atlanta, Las
Vegas and Philadelphia.