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LONDON: A new report by York Aviation and Oxford Economics claims Amsterdam provides three times the number of connections to Britain's regional cities than London Heathrow.

York Aviation managing partner Louise Congdon said that over the last 20 years the number of domestic routes into Heathrow has fallen to just seven. As a result large parts of the UK are now without access to the UK's only hub airport.

The report argues that a new four runway hub airport – as proposed by London's mayor Boris Johnson - would restore those links and provide 49 more regional flights every day than would a third runway at Heathrow.

KLM-largeOxford Economics says this would lead to an additional £2.1 billion stimulus for the regional economies of Liverpool, Inverness, Newquay, Durham Tees Valley, Humberside, Dundee and Cardiff.

The analysis says a third runway at Heathrow would fill up very quickly due to existing demand and domestic services would be ignored in favour of using slots for the most profitable long-haul routes.

Congdon added: "There is no doubt that of all the options for expansion currently under consideration by the Airports Commission, a new four-runway hub airport would provide the nation and regions with the best connectivity to the UK's main international airport."

The mayor of London's chief advisor on aviation Daniel Moylan noted: "This report highlights that only a new four runway hub airport can connect each nation and region of the UK to London and the rest of the world. The current expansion debate must not be allowed to become simply a matter of where to build a new strip of tarmac. This is a decision that matters to the whole of the UK and it's ludicrous that Amsterdam airport provides more than three times the number of UK regional connections than our so-called national airport.

"The report also nails the lie that a third runway would help the UK cities and regions that Heathrow has left behind. It won't. It will be full within two or three years of opening and just as now airlines will be forced to concentrate on their most profitable long-haul routes." he said.

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