Following almost 12 months of negotiations, this new long-term arrangement is projected to carry more than two million passengers to and from British Airways’ global hub in Heathrow over the next five years.
Since Jersey reopened to commercial traffic in July 2020, British Airways has operated to the Island from Heathrow. This has provided direct onwards connectivity for Islanders to the 138 destinations in British Airways’ network served from Heathrow across the world.
Research produced by Oxford Economics, a leader in global forecasting advice, confirms that connectivity to British Airways’ hub in Heathrow will have an enormous, positive impact on Jersey’s economy. The strength of the enhanced connectivity from Heathrow is projected to deliver growth in GDP of £123 million per annum by 2025, supporting 1,200 jobs.
In 2019, Jersey enjoyed a record sixth consecutive year of growth in airport passenger numbers, with 1.76 million passengers, the highest total since 1990. However, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the travel sector, including in Jersey.
Matt Thomas, CEO of Ports of Jersey said, “The pandemic has shone a light on the critical importance of air connectivity for Islanders and our economy.
“Throughout the pandemic, we worked incredibly closely with our airline partners to secure the resilience of our air links. Increasingly over the last twelve months, however, our efforts have shifted to the key role that connectivity will play in the recovery of our economy.
“While the pandemic had an enormous impact on Jersey’s connectivity, the good news is that the recovery in our passenger numbers is tracking well-ahead of airports across the UK, and we are confident that today’s announcement will bring a further boost.
“This agreement is a huge step in developing Jersey’s strategic connectivity. Along with giving Islanders access to UK and rest of the world, it will bring enormous benefits for our business and tourism sectors.”
Senator Lyndon Farnham, Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, commented, “Air connectivity is critical to Jersey’s economic wellbeing and way of life, whether to support tourism, travel on holiday, business, visit friends and relatives in the UK or further afield, to access specialist medical care or university education.
"As British Airways’ global hub, Heathrow also offers the connectivity that Jersey’s business and financial sectors requires, along with the proximity and ease of access to London, which is key to the industry.”
Colm Lacy, Chief Commercial Officer at British Airways added, “With our long and proud history of flying into this fantastic Island, it’s not difficult to see why we are entering and signing this important commercial agreement with Ports of Jersey, which further secures our relationship over the next five years.
“The connection with London Heathrow provides connectivity for Islanders as well as enhancing opportunities for both the business and leisure sectors as we build back better; put simply, British Airways and Ports of Jersey are investing in Jersey’s future.
“Over the last few years, the relationship between us has gone from strength to strength, and we now have an amazing opportunity to welcome as many people between Heathrow and Jersey as we can.”