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Leeds-Bradford Airport to Heathrow flights could be restored
9:00am Saturday 12th May 2012 in News
A deal to restore flights from Leeds-Bradford Airport to Heathrow is under discussion, according to the boss of one of the world’s biggest airline groups.
If an agreement can be reached between bosses at LBA and International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways (BA) and Iberia, it would see flights between London’s biggest airport and the Yeadon site for the first time since March 2009.
It would also mean a return for flights between LBA and the capital since Flybe cancelled its service to Gatwick early last year. The Telegraph & Argus understands a deal could be completed next month.
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh revealed the news in a statement to the Stock Exchange yesterday, after announcing his firm’s first quarter results.
“In late April, we completed our purchase of bmi,” he said.“As a result, British Airways is able to manage its wider Heathrow slot portfolio more effectively and is launching a new route to Seoul later this year.
“Airports across the UK and beyond have contacted us about starting services and, subject to reaching satisfactory agreement with them, we plan to also launch flights from Heathrow to Leeds-Bradford, Rotterdam and Zagreb and increase frequencies to existing key destinations.”
Last night, no-one at LBA, which is currently undergoing expansion work, would comment on the proposed deal until it is confirmed.
A spokesman for BA said: “We have not yet reached a satisfactory agreement with LBA, therefore we are unable to provide any further details at this stage.”
Stephen Wright, president of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the news.
“The more connections this region has to the capital city the better,” he said. “Greater connections to Heathrow, will help business in Bradford and the area more generally.”
Councillor David Green, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration and economy, added: “A direct and regular flight link with London would be a significant contribution to connecting Bradford and Leeds directly into national and global air transport networks.”