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Airlines consider new Jersey-Heathrow link

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THREE airlines serving Jersey say they will consider relaunching links between the Island and Heathrow after the UK government this week gave its backing to building a third runway at the UK hub.

An image issued by Heathrow Airport of its proposed third runway, which it has received official go-ahead to build, reopening the possibility of routes to the Island

Several companies, including British Airways and BMI, have previously tried to operate the route with little success.

But now, Chris Grayling, UK Transport Secretary, says he intends to dedicate up to 15 per cent of slots made available by a potential new third runway at Heathrow to the creation of new domestic routes.

Although he has given his official backing to the plans, they still need to be passed by the House of Commons in what is expected to be a divisive and close vote.

Flybe first expressed its interest in developing regional routes from Heathrow in 2016 and, at the time, made specific reference to Jersey. And this week a spokeswoman for Flybe said it would continue to investigate the viability of the plans.

‘Flybe is pleased that the long-awaited decision on airport expansion as outlined in the government’s national policy statement published yesterday has finally been made.

‘The airline looks forward to continue working with Heathrow to explore the viability and commercial feasibility of developing more domestic routes to ensure the expanded airport benefits the whole of the UK.’

During the same period in 2016, Carolyn McCall, the former chief executive of easyJet said it was planning to operate from Heathrow if it could be proven that it would be economically viable.

And yesterday a spokeswoman for the Luton-based airline said that the position remained unchanged.

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Meanwhile, Rob Veron, chief executive of Blue Islands, which is a franchise partner with Flybe, said that the airline would look into taking on slots at Heathrow if they became available.

‘Blue Islands is continually appraising new route opportunities,’ he said.

‘Should viable slots become available at Heathrow Airport, Blue Islands would of course conduct feasibility evaluations as part of an ongoing route development strategy.’

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