Over 70m passengers use Heathrow Airport every year, and there’s room for more. In a year’s time the £2.5m new Terminal 2 will be officially opened. The countdown began this week. Heathrow is now the world’s busiest international airport and a significant percentage of that is business travellers heading in and out of the capital on corporate visits. A new terminal means greater capacity which is good for The City.
The first flight due to arrive at the new terminal when it opens in June next year is one from Chicago. It’s testament to the fact that people from all over the world want to come and do business in the capitol.
The growth in London has put pressures on the airport. It started out in the 50s with the capacity for 1.2m passengers every year. By the time it closed four years’ ago it was eight times that number annually. The new terminal will have capacity for 20m.
The idea is that the new look terminal is just the start of a revamp of the whole airport. Shorter queues and a quicker “door to door” service will mean not only are more people able to travel in and out of London but they’ll have a better time doing it. That encourages growth in The City at a time when it sorely needs it, along with the added investment and people spending money on the ground that comes with that.
If Heathrow becomes more competitive, which its bosses hope it will, then it will attract more long haul customers, compared with other airports in Europe. Wealthy business travellers from Asia and the Middle East want to be able to hop on and off a plane, be able to get to the office where they’re doing business quickly and easily and they want choice in routes and well as frequency of travel. A bigger airport more geared to deal with more passengers means getting in and out is easy and increasingly hassle-free. Heathrow is a hub airport with a range of transport links in and out of London. Its growth couldn’t come at a better time.
The regeneration project does not just benefit The City in the way of investment. The T2 project is set to create jobs for 35,000 people throughout its construction. Some of the staff will live in the capital but the majority will be staying there temporarily while the job is completed. Having such a large influx of temporary workers boosts the business travel market in London. Clarendon provides serviced apartments for business travellers staying in the capital, particularly those relocating on longer fixed term contracts who don’t want to rent a place out or move permanently. An apartment that has a fully fitted kitchen and amenities like Wi-Fi and Freeview meets their needs and is a cost-effective solution.
The countdown has begun to the opening of the new look T2. Increasing capacity for business travellers can only be good news for firms working in the capital as it increases the chance of them hosting international business leaders. The benefits can be reaped during the regeneration project itself as the construction job is employing tens of thousands of temporary workers, all spending money in London while they work in the project. It’s great news for a city looking to emerge from recession.