01 June 2012

Commuters from the Midlands driving into London may need to do a double-take as they see a new advertising campaign to entice those travelling to Heathrow to use Birmingham Airport instead.

Using the strap-line ‘Birmingham makes more sense than Heathrow’, the Midlands’ Airport has launched a major outdoor advertising campaign to ‘claw back’ passengers from its catchment that currently travel outside of the region to catch flights.

Located at major advertising sites, including the approach to London on the M25 and at key train stations in Northampton, Milton Keynes and Oxford, the Airport is using bold statements such as ‘Congestion Ahead’, ‘Going in the right direction?’ and ‘Take your business in a new direction’  to grab commuters’ attention.

Birmingham Airport claims that it makes no sense for people to drive to London to take a flight at a time when airports in the South East are nearing capacity, when there are airports such as Birmingham that can offer an alternative.

Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham Airport, explained: “It’s been predicted that passenger numbers in Britain will increase by 125 million by 2030 and with Heathrow and Gatwick nearing capacity, it’s clear that the South East will soon have a capacity problem unless something is done.

“Part of that solution is Birmingham Airport, which currently handles nine million passengers a year – a number that could be doubled today and with its major development programme will be able to handle 36 million passengers before 2030. By making use of existing capacity across the UK, at airports such as Birmingham, capacity can be released in the South East, which would also pave the way for growth outside of London and the South East, and help rebalance the UK’s economy.”

Over the last ten years, the Airport has invested some £200m to grow its infrastructure, whilst keeping the passenger experience efficient and enjoyable. Coupled with the Airport’s growing route network and runway extension due to open in 2014, it believes that it can offer Government a fast and cost effective solution to the capacity crunch in the South East and give passengers, that are tired of congestion at London airports, a viable alternative.

Paul added: “We know from experience that once passengers make the switch to Birmingham they’re impressed by its world class facilities and ease of access to and through the terminal. With this ‘David and Goliath’ campaign, we aim to target commuters who are tired of the arduous journey to London and say confidently that Birmingham is a real alternative for flights to destinations around the world.”

The advertising campaign will run from today throughout June, and has been developed by Midlands based advertising agency, Connect, on behalf of Birmingham Airport.

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