Looking to the future of Leeds Bradford Airport

Looking to the future of Leeds Bradford Airport

Currently embarking on a new 'route to 2030' scheme, as well as boosting its routes on offer, the future looks bright for Leeds Bradford Airport. Tony Hallwood tells us more...

Located at the heart of the largest metropolitan region outside London, Leeds Bradford Airport is witnessing an increasing appetite for flying both on business and for pleasure as we deliver a growing network of flights for the Yorkshire region. 

This year LBA will deliver in excess of 3.5million passengers for the first time in the airport’s history, as travellers choose to fly close to home across our increasing range of new destinations and flight frequencies. 

Recently we have introduced new routes to Guernsey, Newquay and Cork alongside additional frequencies to Barcelona and Malaga.

Looking forward to 2017, LBA will be introducing new services to Warsaw, Faro and Las Palmas. We are confident of additional services being announced over the coming months.

In order to secure an even greater proportion of Yorkshire's traffic, Leeds Bradford is working closely with regional transport providers and decision makers to ensure that surface access improvements to the airport are realised.

This is necessary as we can see an increasing number of Yorkshire travellers shunning the M62 to avoid road delays and deciding to fly locally from Leeds Bradford Airport. 

The airport's new Masterplan, which was formally launched for consultation last month, highlighted the opportunities to deliver road and rail access enhancements to the airport as part of improving Leeds City region’s transport infrastructure - especially prior to arrival of HS2.

The introduction of a new Parkway station on the Leeds to Harrogate line could deliver a station located only a mile from our terminal and would be linked by a shuttle bus service.

Meanwhile, road improvements surrounding the airport will also be welcomed in reducing travel times. We could deliver a park and ride scheme linked to the Parkway opportunity, releasing the pressure on our congested roads into Leeds.

Delivering a high level of customer service is also a top priority for the airport as we continue to grow. Recent CAA statistics confirm that Leeds Bradford delivered the best on time performance of all UK airports in Q3 and Q4 2015.

Alongside  investment in our passenger facilities it is, therefore, no surprise that LBA is being chosen as the airport of choice in West and North Yorkshire. 

We also expect to see increasing demand from regional businesses looking to locate close to the airport as we develop our "economic hub" as part of our Masterplan.

Construction of a new hotel adjacent to the existing terminal would also support the growth of inbound business and leisure visitors. This will be one of a number of projects on site delivering an increasing range of new jobs to the region.

Leeds Bradford Airport is also proud to raise the profile of our fantastic region on the world's stage.

We have an increasing number of hub airports now, including Heathrow with BA, Amsterdam with KLM, Dublin with Aer Lingus and Barcelona with Vueling; meaning that passengers can easily connect onto a wide range of worldwide destinations.

We now confidently expect regional businesses taking advantage of the ease and convenience of flying from Yorkshire's gateway airport.

We now have over 60 direct destinations serving more than 20 countries and offering fights with 12 major airline partners.

Therefore, we can look forward to Leeds Bradford playing a central role within the Northern Powerhouse.

Here at Leeds Bradford Airport, we believe that as a region we are too reserved in our approach to secure new business; especially from within Europe.

The time has come for the city region to invest in a range of marketing initiatives to promote Yorkshire, redirecting tourism and business demand from the EU that is presently being attracted to other major cities and regions of the UK.

With our trading strengths across major business sectors and with tourism playing an important role in delivering jobs, we need to create more awareness of the Leeds City Region and Yorkshire across our EU partners. 

We have a great story to tell, so let's all work together in ensuring that message is received loud and clear.