Members' News

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UK: Heathrow Express has received an overall satisfaction rate of 96% from the latest National Rail Passenger Survey, placing it well above the national average of 81% and 17 percentage points ahead of the London & South East average of 80%.

The consumer poll puts a spotlight on Heathrow Express’ unique selling points of speed – where it scored 96% compared to the region’s average of 80% and punctuality and reliability where Heathrow Express scored 93% compared to the London and South East average of 69%.

The largest improvement is value for money, which has improved 11 percentage points to 53% compared to a London and South East average of 43%.

New offers starting at £5.50 per journey and a permanent commitment for children under 15 to travel free mean these offers have resulted in growth of digital sales and leisure passengers.

Service scores have all improved. Recent internal analysis of customer travel patterns between plane and train resulted in investment in service standards as well as award winning technology to improve communication with customers.

Bucking the national trend, availability of staff at the station and on the train jumped to 85% and 86% respectively versus a national average of 66% and 44%

Attitude and helpfulness of staff at the station and on the train increased 5 and 6 points to 92% and 93%, the best ever score for the Heathrow Express team.

Fraser Brown, Director of Heathrow Express said: “Providing an excellent premium service means dedication from staff and attention to detail and we couldn’t achieve these scores without the huge efforts of our team.

“These scores prove once again that not only does Heathrow Express provide the fastest way to travel between the UK’s biggest airport and central London, but it does so professionally and without fuss. Our priority is to get passengers between Heathrow Airport and Paddington as quickly and as safely as possible, but we also go the extra mile. Passengers in this survey have recognised us for our customer service, convenience, and the pride we take in our trains and stations. Our carriages not only look good, but provide plenty of facilities such as fast WiFi, as well as being clean and spacious – with good legroom and plenty of space for luggage, which is why we also scored an excellent 97% satisfaction rate for the trains themselves.”

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RUSSIA: Aeroexpress has fulfilled its obligation to repay its debut bonded loan in full.

On 13 January, Aeroexpress made payments against series 01 bonds in the amount of RUB 3,053,000,000. Moreover, income gained during the 10th coupon period, for a total of RUB 167,457,050 (RUB 54.85 given an 11% annual rate), has also been redeemed in full.

“This is really a very significant event for our company,” says Valery Fyodorov, Chief Operating Officer of Aeroexpress. “This is the first time Aeroexpress has entered the open market for financial loans and, what is more important, we have fulfilled our obligations completely and on time.”

The decision to issue bonds in the amount of RUB 3.053 billion was made by the company’s Board of Directors in October 2011.

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USA: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has presented a vision plan to transform JFK International Airport. Based on the recommendations of the Governor’s Airport Advisory Panel, the vision plan lays out a comprehensive, airport-wide framework to create a unified, interconnected world-class airport with improved road and rail access.

"Our vision plan calls for the creation of a unified, interconnected airport that changes the passenger experience and makes the airport much easier to access and navigate,” Governor Cuomo said.

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By setting a new course at JFK, the airport has the potential to drive up to $7 billion in private investment. The on-airport transformation focuses on six core areas:

  • Interconnect terminals by expanding newer terminals and redeveloping/relocating older terminals
  • Redesign the on-airport roadways to evolve into a “ring road” configuration, to allow for easier and quicker access to all of JFK’s terminals, including for taxis, ride-sharing and for-hire vehicles.
  • Centralize and expand parking lots within the “ring road” layout with clear short-term and long-term parking options.
  • Ensure world-class amenities – including fine dining, duty-free shopping, best-in-class retail, and conference and meeting room facilities – a process that began last month with the groundbreaking of the new TWA Flight Center Hotel.
  • Expand taxiways to reduce ground delays and add new flight slots to accommodate the airports relentlessly growing passenger demand.
  • Implement state-of-the-art security technology, including regular reviews with third-party experts to update security to the future global best practices such as facial recognition and video tracking software that are currently being incorporated across New York’s infrastructure developments.

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The vision plan also addresses key bottlenecks in road access to and from JFK on the Van Wyck and at the Kew Gardens Interchange. Governor Cuomo endorsed $1.5-$2 billion in spending by the State Department of Transportation to improve the roadways leading to JFK. The Panel also recommended the development of actionable plans to expand rail mass transit access to the airport. The Panel laid out options including doubling the capacity of the AirTrain, improving the MTA’s subway and LIRR connections to the AirTrain at Jamaica Station, and exploring the feasibility of a one-seat rail ride to JFK.

JFK Airport is a vital regional economic engine that served a record 60 million passengers in 2016 and supported more than 285,000 jobs last year.
The number of passengers at JFK is expected to grow dramatically over the next several decades – to 75 million by 2030 and 100 million passengers by 2050. The current JFK will reach capacity by the mid-2020s. For each million passengers that JFK fails to accommodate, the region loses approximately $140 million in wages, $400 million in sales, and 2,500 jobs.

Pat Foye, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said, “John F. Kennedy airport was once a world class transportation hub, envied by the entire nation. Today, it is choked with traffic and burdened with outdated systems and decaying infrastructure. Governor Cuomo’s landmark plan to revitalize JFK will put New York back on the map as a premiere destination by building a new golden gate to this state. Through strategic investments and collaborative efforts of our public and private sectors, the completion of this state-of-the-art transit centre we will meet the needs of 21st century travellers for many decades to come.”

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The Advisory Panel’s vision plan calls for consideration of two ways to improve rail mass transit to JFK.

Option 1: Expand JFK AirTrain

  • Increase the capacity from two to four cars per train and increase its frequency - these changes would allow the AirTrain to roughly double its capacity and handle more than 40 million passengers annually.
  • Improve the east of connection from the Subway or LIRR by top-to-bottom rebuild of interconnections at Jamaica and Sutphin Blvd – Completely overhaul the subway and Long Island Railroad connection to the JFK AirTrain. These improvements would include essential modern amenities such as high-performance elevators and escalators, charging stations and expanded walkways. A modernized mezzanine will create simpler navigation and smoother transfers to the AirTrain including improved wayfinding and LED flight status screens. Images of the transformed Jamaica Station and AirTrain connection can be found here.

Option 2: Explore the feasibility of one seat ride to JFK

  • JFK is one of the only major airports in the world that does not offer travellers a one seat ride from its city centre. Therefore, the panel recommends that the MTA and its partners jointly explore the feasibility of a one-seat ride to JFK.

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SWEDEN: The dedicated Stockholm Arlanda Airport express train Arlanda Express has unveiled new staff look on its Instagram account.