When British Airways first announced its plans to serve Leeds Bradford many observers saw the decision as little more than an avenue reaction to protect the carrier’s pool of slots at heavily-congested Heathrow Airport
Fast forward to December 2016 and the Leeds Bradford / London Heathrow route is one of the best performing markets in the world. Traffic is up by an incredible 18.4 per cent over 2016. BA have recently celebrated the fourth anniversary of its domestic flight between its London and Leeds Bradford Airport. News that more than half a million passengers have travelled on the route since it was launched in 2012 has been welcomed by all.
About the Leeds Bradford – London Heathrow Route
The route is currently among the best performing in BA’s domestic markets. Compared to the same period in 2015 AirVision data shows traffic up by 18.4% in the first ten months of 2016. Demand is estimated to exceed a staggering 165,000 passengers. This will bring the total number of passengers to more than 570,000 since the route launched in 2012.
Competition with the railways is intense at the moment. Attracting corporate travellers between Leeds and London is crucial for the success of the airport and wider Yorkshire region. Tempting travellers away from the railways was always going to be tough for British Airways. The success of this route has always been about connecting traffic with BA. In particular targeting Yorkshire-based passengers flying to destinations across the world.
Tony Hallwood, aviation development director, Leeds Bradford Airport said :
This important new service to Heathrow connects Yorkshire with the world. It provides our businesses with the access they need to emerging and established global markets, and enables those markets to easily come to Yorkshire, bringing their investment and inbound tourism direct into our region.
Our analysis shows that North America and in particular the United States of America is the main destination for O&D traffic to and from Leeds Bradford, although other popular destinations include Hong Kong, Canada, India and South Africa.
Simon Lea, airport manager at Leeds Bradford for British Airways said:
We remain fully committed to Leeds Bradford Airport and the fact that we have reached this milestone figure in four years is due to the loyalty and commitment of our customers in Yorkshire.
We work closely with the airport to ensure that we provide the high quality service our customers want and this year particularly we have concentrated on inbound customers and promoting Yorkshire as a destination for visitors from the south of England and even further afield.