Transport CommitteeFurther written evidence from Heathrow Airport Ltd (AS 84A)

Thank you for the opportunity to give oral evidence to the Transport Select Committee on Monday 3 December 2012.

I am responding to an email received from Dr Farrah Bhatti, the second clerk on Monday 3 December, following the evidence session, requesting the following information:

1. Further statistics on the number of hub transfer passengers at Heathrow—in particular, data on whether these are passengers flying into Heathrow from the UK regions (outside the south east) or from other countries (eg short haul European flights); and,

2. Further details of our estimate of the additional aviation emissions generated due to congestion at Heathrow and also due to passengers taking an additional flight, for example, by transferring at a European hub, rather than flying direct to their chosen destination.

Dealing with these in turn.

1. Transfer Passengers

Domestic transfers are key to making the hub operation work.

According to CAA data, 16% of all transfer passengers flying into Heathrow in 2011 were from domestic airports and they connected onto long haul routes.

The make-up of passengers on domestic routes illustrates how these passengers contribute to hub activity. So, for example, in 2011, 26% of all passengers flying from Aberdeen to Heathrow transferred onto a long haul flight, with a further 19% transferring to a short haul destination; 62% of passengers flying from Manchester to Heathrow transferred onto a long haul flight, with a further 17% transferring to a short haul destination.

2. Impact of Capacity

Lack of capacity at Heathrow means direct routes that would be economically viable are not being realised. Our view is that, in carbon terms this is inefficient since Heathrow passengers are flying further and need to make an additional take-off and landing. This can be illustrated by two simple examples, based on calculations using publically available online emissions calculator ( that compare CO2/pax for journey's made directly and indirectly to long haul destinations to the west and east.

Example 1

Flight going west: Heathrow to Caracas via Frankfurt:

Caracas is a fast growing city which is not currently directly linked to Heathrow. If a passenger flies to Caracas from Heathrow via Frankfurt then this would create 16% more emissions per passenger than a direct flight from Heathrow. This is because you need to fly further and take off and land twice.

Example 2

Flight going east: Heathrow to Wuhan via Paris:

Wuhan is a major secondary city in China which is not currently linked to Heathrow. Flying to Wuhan indirect from Heathrow via Paris creates 5% more CO2 per passenger than a direct flight from Heathrow (the distance penalty is much smaller than a flight where the final destination is West, but the take-off and landing penalty remains).

I hope that this information satisfactorily deals with the questions you have raised, but please do let me know should you require any further information.

Prepared 31st May 2013