Members' News

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UK: Heathrow has announced it is getting ready to introduce a set of tough new measures to protect local air quality, reduce congestion and tackle emissions.  

Heathrow is putting plans in motion to introduce charges for passenger cars and all private hire vehicles. This includes the world’s first airport Ultra Low Emission Zone (the Heathrow ULEZ), set to be introduced in 2022. The Heathrow ULEZ will introduce minimum vehicle emissions standards identical to the London Mayor’s ULEZ for passenger cars and private hire vehicles entering car parks or drop-off areas at any of Heathrow’s terminals, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Over time with the opening of the new runway from 2026 and improvements to public transport access to the airport, the Heathrow ULEZ will transition into a vehicle access charge (VAC) on all passenger cars, taxis and private hire vehicles coming to car parks or drop-off areas. The goal is to tackle the main source of local air pollution – road vehicles – and reduce congestion by encouraging more people to use sustainable ways of getting to and from the airport.

Initial proposals for the Heathrow ULEZ could set the charge figure between £10-15, in line with charges set by the Mayor in central London. Exact details for the Heathrow ULEZ will be confirmed when Heathrow submits its final DCO application for expansion after public consultation. Revenue generated from both schemes will help fund initiatives to improve sustainable transport, contribute to community compensation and help keep airport charges affordable as the airport expands.

The announcement comes at a time when action is needed to protect local air quality by changing industry and public behaviour. Heathrow will now join London and Birmingham as the third UK zone to impose charges on the most polluting cars.

Furthermore, Heathrow is doing its bit to reduce vehicle use by leading industry change through a targeted Colleague Strategy which will be launched next week and will focus on significantly reducing the number of colleague car trips through a mixture of incentives, restraints on parking, and investment in new public transport links. The airport has invested over £1billion in rail infrastructure and provides over £2.5million annually to encourage public transport use via the airport free travel zone, support for bus services and contributions to local sustainable transport schemes.

Heathrow is fully backing plans to treble rail capacity by 2040 through improved transport links which take into account the introduction of the Elizabeth Line, an upgraded Piccadilly Line, and proposed rail links from the West and South. 

Earlier this month Heathrow also published its annual sustainability strategy report – Heathrow 2.0 – which sets out how the airport is addressing the impact of aircraft and other operations. Highlighted in the report are significant investments made to offset emissions and speed up electric flight, supporting the airport’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2020 and to operate zero carbon airport infrastructure by 2050. Initiatives include a project to restore UK peatlands to offset carbon emissions, more electric vehicles and charging points, investment in the development of sustainable fuels, a pledge to waive a year’s landing charges for the first electric or hybrid aircraft put into regular service at Heathrow, along with research into future infrastructure to support electric aircraft and technologies. 

“Heathrow Expansion is not a choice between the economy and the environment – we must deliver for both. Today’s announcement shows that we will take the tough decisions to ensure that the airport grows responsibly,” Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said.

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HEX flower train

UK: Customers boarding Heathrow Express services were greeted with a stunning flower display this week.

More than 3,000 flowers in total were installed on the 43 seat, 23-metre long carriage to celebrate the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show which began on 21 May.

A spokesperson for Heathrow Express said: “The duration of our transfer service is just 15 minutes so we wanted to make an instant impression on customers departing from and arriving in the UK. The Chelsea Flower Show is one of the biggest events of the year but not everyone gets the chance to experience it so we wanted to give travellers a little taster. And we’re delighted to say the reaction of customers has been blooming marvellous.”

The ‘flower express’ display, which was created by Jamie Aston Flowers, featured 1,850 hydrangeas, 220 wisterias and 1,000 stems of fresh sea lavender. The mix of real and artificial flowers were attached to the ceiling and walls using suction grips and hooks and the plants in the luggage racks were held in place by foam.

Jamie Aston said: “We’ve created all manner of flower displays but have never had the chance to create one on board a train. We wanted to create something which would bring a smile to passengers’ faces and help them to unwind ahead or following their flight.”

 

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Gatwick Express Birthday

UK: The Gatwick Express has celebrated its 35 year of operations anniversary on 14 May 2019. Gatwick Express came into full service on 14 May 1984, transporting passengers from London Victoria to Gatwick Airport. The service was initially formed of Class 73 trains with specially modified coaches to carry passenger luggage.

Since the launch, Gatwick Express has evolved; in 2007 the service was extended to and from Brighton, became part of the UK’s biggest rail franchise, Govia Thameslink Railway, in 2015, and saw a £145m fleet renewal programme in 2016.

On its birthday, Gatwick Express team were surprising passengers passing through London Victoria station with limited edition organic tote bags and a string quartet serenading arrivals. A magician was also be on board a number of Gatwick Express services throughout the day, entertaining passengers with some close-up magic.

“The 35-year anniversary of operations is such an exciting occasion to be part of. It makes it even more special to be celebrating this event with the team," said Stephen MacCallaugh, Head of Gatwick Express.

 

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MALAYSIA: KLIA Ekspres tickets are now available globally through Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL)’s partnership with GlobalTix, a Singapore based e-ticketing and Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing platform.

Chief Executive Officer of ERL, Noormah Mohd Noor said, “This is our second partnership with a B2B company in just three months. It is significant for us as KLIA Ekspres tickets are now made available through GlobalTix’s network of over 4,000 partners, travel agents and distributors. This, in turn, will provide more purchase options for travellers planning their Malaysian adventure. We are definitely excited to welcome more travellers onboard the KLIA Ekspres, the fastest train in Southeast Asia.”

Launched in 2013, GlobalTix is a Singapore-based company that is run by passionate team members who believe that travelling should be as easy as possible. It is a B2B platform with a specific focus on digitalising tickets for tourist attractions.

Speaking on behalf of GlobalTix, Vice President of Global Commercial, Chanel Leong said “We are delighted to be working with KLIA Ekspres, one of the most prominent companies in Malaysia, allowing us to touch base with a company that knows and provides the best for its audience. We are excited to see where this venture will go to and we are confident this will allow both our companies to grow even further.”

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Dooh STEX web

UK: A digital Out of Home ads at London Stansted Airport are enabling commuters to make quick-fire judgements on the quickest route into Central London.

Digital Out of Home production agency DOOH.com in partnership with LIDA, who are part of the M&C Saatchi Group, have designed the logic behind the system, ensuring travellers are provided with live travel comparison information demonstrating the speed and efficiency of the Stansted Express rail service versus alternative routes in and out of London.

Neil McKenney, Managing Partner, DOOH.com on the campaign, “Applying live data is a fantastic way of turning an otherwise general advert into a functional utility that saves passengers time and effort during what is often a stressful part of their journey. Using our platform, it becomes easy to infuse digital OOH ads with the ability to function in the same way as a web-page. ”

The digital screens are positioned at the baggage reclaim area of Stansted Airport, providing passengers with live journey time comparisons between car, coach and the Stansted Express train service to London Liverpool Street station; all powered by real-time data via multiple API’s.

Stansted Express delivers an average journey time to Liverpool Street of 47 minutes with departures every 15 minutes during the day, and 30 minutes in the early morning and late evening.

Chris Ford, Marketing & Digital Manager at Stansted Express, commented, “We appreciate this part of the journey is a fine balance of excitement and frustration for passengers, particularly as navigating transfer options can be tricky.

“By harnessing different sources of real-time data into one we can provide reliable and digestible information to help customers make informed decisions on how to get to and from central London.”

Victoria Nikishina, client services director at Primesight celebrated the campaign saying “It’s fantastic to see Stansted Express use the full dynamic capabilities of digital out-of-home to enhance their already established long-term holding at London Stansted, reaching 27 million passengers a year.

“Stansted Express’ use of real time traffic data across our digital arrivals gallery and D6 networks enhances the consumer journey and helps the arriving audience make informed choices on the best, most available mode of onward travel.

“This is a best-in-class example of how digital OOH is being used in a data-rich airport environment in real time, to enhance Stansted Express’ significant long-term branding.”

The project was jointly devised and created by Stansted Express, creative agency LIDA and digital production agency DOOH.com, with ads appearing on media owner Primesight’s Digital Arrivals Network and Digital 6-sheets.