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Suggestions that Dublin could act as a so-called third runway for International Airlines Group have been dismissed by Heathrow.
The argument is part of the rationale behind the British Airways owner’s £1 billion bid for Aer Lingus.
IAG claims it can expand Aer Lingus by redirecting some transatlantic passengers through Dublin airport, which would free up capacity at London’s congested hub for other routes.
But such arrangements would not relieve the pressure on Heathrow, according to John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of the UK’s largest airport, which is campaigning to build a third runway.
“Dublin is a great airport, but if you look at what London needs – more long-haul connections to growing global markets, more export capacity – there is only one solution. To expand Heathrow. Dublin won’t do it, Gatwick won’t do it,” he told the Financial Times.
BA is the largest carrier at Heathrow, which is operating at near full capacity on its two runways.
Heathrow claimed its capacity constraints were forcing airlines to take their business elsewhere in Europe.
“We are losing out because of a lack of capacity,” said Holland-Kaye. “The competition is between the UK economy, the French economy and the Middle Eastern economies. If we expand that is a battle we can win.”
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