Suffolk: Chamber highlights business need for long-haul flights from Stansted

Andrew Harrison, managing director of Stansted Airport, right, speaks to Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

Andrew Harrison, managing director of Stansted Airport, right, speaks to Suffolk Chamber of Commerce members and guests at Ipswich Town FC including Stephen Britt, chairman of the chamber's Suffolk Transport Group, Lucy Robinson of Suffolk County Council and Peter Funnell, president of Suffolk Chamber. - Credit: Archant

Business leaders in Suffolk have highlighted the need for Stansted Airport to offer long-distance flights to destinations such as the United States and the Far East.

Speaking at a private dinner hosted by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce at Ipswich Town Football Club, Stansted managing director Andrew Harrison said business travellers were high on the list of priorities in discussions between Manchester Airports Group, which acquired the airport earlier this year, and potential new airline customers.

Mr Harrison also said that, while investments in other areas of infrastructure such as roads, rail, energy and broadband were all important, it was vital that airports were not left behind and were able to prepare for future growth in demand for air travel.

His comments were welcomed by senior members of Suffolk Chamber as supporting the county’s efforts to attract inward investment and secure more export trade, but the need for new long-distance routes to be added to the European distinations currently served was also highlighted.

Stephen Britt, chairman of the Suffolk Chamber Transport Group, said: “Firms around the table left Andrew in no doubt about what they want from London Stansted.

“Exporting is a way of life for firms in Suffolk and while businesses greatly value the low cost airline appeal they want to be able to travel to the USA and to the Far East without having to drive past Stansted on the M11 to get to Heathrow.”

Suffolk Chamber president Peter Funnell said: “There is no doubt that Stansted Airport is based in a great position for those global businesses wanting to invest in the UK.

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“Coming in through what we consider to be our ‘local’ airport brings access of course to London but also a key route into Suffolk and our first class excellent offer.”

Dr Funnell added: “In the year of our campaign Exporting is Good for Suffolk it is important that senior business leaders like Andrew come and hear direct from local firms.

“Our economy is very focused on not only exporting what we have but also welcoming new business from around the world into our county. London Stansted is key to that and we look forward to continue working with the team at Stansted to ensure we have the right infrastructure our economy needs.”