British Airways eyes more Madrid flights

British Airways eyes more Madrid flights
British Airways has pledged to continue operating direct flights from London to South America following its tie-up with Iberia, but it admitted Madrid may become a new hub for flights to the region.
Speaking at the Advantage conference, British Airways head of UK & Ireland sales and marketing Richard Tams said it made sense for the airline to offer more flights from Madrid which, unlike Heathrow, was not slot-constrained.
“We are still going to be able to support direct services to main points in Latin America,” he said, “but we have an opportunity to expand our Latin America network using Madrid.”
He said British Airways could launch more flights from regional airports to Madrid to feed into flights to Latin America. “We have to look at that. Our competitors are already doing this successfully.”
Criticising the Government’s decision not to expand Heathrow, Tams said it had discounted the airport’s value as a transfer hub. “It has looked at it too simplistically and doesn’t see the need for transfer traffic but what it doesn’t realise is that you can only sustain the sort of frequent long-haul services that make London a great hub to do business in if you get traffic from elsewhere.
“I believe the Government is thinking about this again, but I’m not holding my breath for a third runway at Heathrow.”