Club News

UK Aviation Priorities: Clarity on Brexit and Expanding Heathrow

The Aviation Club UK

UK Aviation Priorities: Clarity on Brexit and Expanding Heathrow

8 November 2017 (London) – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged the UK Government to shore-up its international air connectivity by focusing on a cost-effective expansion of Heathrow Airport and achieving early clarity on post-Brexit issues.


“In building the post-Brexit world, the prosperity of the UK will depend on the strength of its connectivity—links with Europe and the rest of the world,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, in an address to the UK Aviation Club.

“There is a real challenge ahead. When the UK leaves the European Single Market, it will also leave the European Common Aviation Area. And when it breaks from the European Union, all traffic rights to the rest of the world associated with Europe will also be thrown into question. The basis of international aviation is bilateral air services agreements. There is no WTO agreement to fall back on. For that reason, I don’t see any alternative to a negotiated agreement,” said de Juniac.

IATA urged an early resolution for aviation in the Brexit discussion. “Time is precious. The Brexit clock is ticking towards a deadline of March 2019. But the aviation deadline is earlier. Normally passengers can book travel about a year in advance. At a minimum, the flight schedules and seat and cargo inventories must be available at least six months in advance. So that puts the airlines’ deadline at October 2018—just 11 months from now,” said de Juniac.

“My message to all involved is threefold: Get started. Don’t step backward—people will not accept anything that turns back the clock on the achievements of the EU Common Aviation Area. And, lastly, don’t underestimate the amount of work ahead as there are intense political and commercial interests at stake,” said de Juniac.

While much attention has been paid to air service agreements, IATA urged action across a broad spectrum of issues including:

  • Finding staffing, systems and process solutions for a potential ballooning of customs transactions from 4.6 million/month to 21 million/month.
  • Developing immigration solutions to efficiently deal with the millions of travellers between the UK and Europe should border control procedures become more cumbersome.
  • Defining the relationship of the UK to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

“The pressure is mounting, with passenger numbers predicted to grow irrespective of Brexit. Solutions need to be found quickly to ensure a smooth transition. With the amount of work that needs to be done, there are good arguments to put transition agreements in place,” said de Juniac.

Expanding Heathrow

IATA urged the UK government to address severe capacity constraints in the Southeast of the UK by expanding Heathrow airport. “Heathrow is where expansion should take place. I know the struggle to build a third runway has meant decades of frustration. But the UK will be left behind in the globally connected world if it does not come to a final decision and implement it,” said de Juniac.

The UK Department for Transport’s Draft National Policy Statement notes that a third runway at Heathrow will create GBP 200 billion in economic value and support up to 110,000 jobs. “Expanding Heathrow is about building prosperity. It should be a priority for the UK. And facing the post-Brexit world makes it even more urgent,” said de Juniac.

IATA, however, cautioned that the cost of expanding Heathrow needs to support its future competitiveness. “I am not saying to build the third runway at any cost. The original estimates of GBP 17 billion were completely unacceptable. Heathrow Airport’s recently announced intention to reduce that cost is a step in the right direction. Heathrow is already the most expensive airport in the world from which to operate. It is essential that Heathrow’s charges do not rise from today’s levels. The construction of the third runway must enhance Heathrow’s competitiveness, not destroy it!” said de Juniac.

A successful airport needs sufficient capacity and quality, aligned with airline operational needs and costs that are affordable. “In delivering the third runway, Heathrow’s capacity issue will be resolved for now. But achieving the right quality at the correct price requires consultation with the airlines. And one idea from the airline community that should be taken into consideration by the government is seeking competitive bids from developers,” said de Juniac.

CLICK HERE to see full text of de Juniac’s address or visit the IATA website .


De Juniac at Aviation Club UK

The Aviation Club UK


Post-Brexit developments and other major challenges confronting the UK will come under the microscope at the Aviation Club monthly lunch on Wednesday week, 8 November, when IATA director-general Alexandre de Juniac addresses the audience …..


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Club Committee attend CAPA Aviation Awards Gala Dinner

The Aviation Club UK

Members of the Aviation Club UK Committee and guests attended the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner on 12 October 2017 at the Sofitel Hotel, Heathrow T5.

There evening hosted nine award categories: Regional, Medium and Airport of the year; Airline start-up of the year; Airline Turnaround of the year; Regional Airline of the Year; Low cost airline of the year; Airline of the year and Airline executive of the year, plus the CAPA Legend Award.  Recipients included Dublin Airport, TAP Portugal and Air Baltic.

It was particularly pleasing to see several Honorary Club members receiving Awards.  These included Bjorn Kjos of Norwegian, who collected the award for ‘Airline of the Year 2017’ for Norwegian and Andres Conesa, who received the award for ‘Airline Executive of the Year 2017’.  The ‘CAPA Legend Award’ went to Willie Walsh, IAG.

Our thanks go to CAPA for their invitation and congratulations on a splendid event.


Embraer To Go Turboprop?

It took a bit of prodding by a journalist, in this case Robert Wall of the Wall Street Journal, but Embraer is seriously looking at an up to 70-seat turboprop for production in the next decade.

It all came out at last week’s London Aviation Club lunch, and followed a get-together of Embraer operators in Amsterdam, who briefed about the proposal.  Guest of honour at the club was Embraer CEO John Slattery whose speech did not mention turboprops.

To read the full article from Business Travel News CLICK HERE

Embraer Considers Building a New Turboprop Plane Unveiled- announced at Aviation Club UK – Article by Robert Wall

Embraer Considers Building a New Turboprop Plane  Thursday, September 14, 2017 03:10:00 PM (GMT)

By Rober Wall      LONDON — One of the world’s biggest plane makers, Embraer SA, is in talks with airlines about potentially developing a turboprop regional airliner amid signs demand in the U.S. for such aircraft may be ready to rebound.      The company this week hosted two days of talks in Europe with airlines from around the world to gauge their interest in a new plane to satisfy demand for the next 20 to 30 years, said John Slattery, president of Embraer Commercial Aviation. “We are at the early stages of assessing what the business case could be,” he said Thursday.      The plane principally would compete with Canada’s Bombardier Inc. and ATR the European turboprop maker owned by Airbus SE and Italy’s Leonardo SpA.      Mr. Slattery said current turboprop designs now being sold are “decades old” potentially opening the door for a plane featuring a new airframe, engines and other enhancements. “We are serious about it,” he told the Aviation Club in London.      The Brazilian aircraft maker is best known for making 70-seat to 100-seat regional jets heavily used on routes with not enough demand to warrant operating larger Boeing Co. or Airbus planes.      Mr. Slattery said the feedback from the so called airline advisory board was instructive. Plane makers typically hold such meetings to get customer feedback and refine their aircraft concepts before formally offering new aircraft designs for sale.      Embraer would likely introduce more than one version to cover different passenger numbers. The exact sizes haven’t been defined yet. He wouldn’t say when Embraer may decide whether to introduce a new turboprop plane.      Turboprops tend to fly fewer passengers on shorter distances. But they typically burn less gas than their regional jet cousins offering airlines a way to cut their fuel bill. Turboprops fell out of favor in the U.S. because passengers generally preferred jets they viewed as more comfortable and modern.      But after a prolonged orders lull, ATR, which has the largest market share, said it has won a preliminary 20 aircraft deal with Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Silver Airways Corp. The first of the planes, being introduced through a plane rental company, could be delivered before year-end, an official for the plane maker said.      Mr. Slattery said the U.S. market for smaller airliners for now likely will remain focused on regional jets, though new turboprop technology could help spur a renaissance.      ATR projects a demand for more than 2,500 turboprops globally through 2035. The company also has considered launching a more than 90-seat turboprop, larger than its existing models, though the company held off on committing to such a design.      Embraer built turboprops from the mid-1980s through the 1990s, though more recently has focused on building regional and private jets. The newest generation of its regional jets is due to enter service next year.      Write to Robert Wall at


Annual Reception Success at House of Lords

The Aviation Club UK

On the eve of the publication of the Government’s consultation to kickstart the new UK Aviation Strategy, guests from across the aviation industry, parliamentarians and Aviation Club UK members attended the Aviation Club UK’s annual reception at the House of Lords, hosted by Lord Clarke of Hampstead CBE, British trade unionist and Labour peer.

Jane Middleton, Immediate past chairman and chair of Airlines UK, thanked and introduced host Lord Clarke.  Special guest Bob ‘the cat’ Bevan MBE, after dinner speaker, Crystal Palace supporter and raconteur entertained the guests with his sparkling wit and jokes..

Heathrow Airport sponsored the event and Flybe Chief Executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener donated flights.  

Amongst some 130 guests were Geraldine Wilmot of Boeing, who flew in from Seattle specifically to attend the Reception, Orbis UK Chief Executive, Rebecca Cronin and Paul Morris, Senior Manager, Aircraft Field Line Maintenance, FedEx (who donated the current aircraft to Orbis) along with Charity Partnership Manager, Kathryn Sweet. They were delighted to join members at this special event and enjoyed to opportunity to network with guests, including long term Orbis supporter Irena Badelska.

Grayling At Aviation Club UK

Fast-moving political events including last week’s protests following the Grenfell Tower fire and plots against Theresa May promise to make the Aviation Club UK’s next lunch on 12 July 2017 even more topical than usual.

Guest speaker is secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling MP, whose public row with Labour’s John McDonnell over the Grenfell action put him squarely back in the spotlight.

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