Business and civic leaders have applauded British Airways for its decision to start a new service between Leeds Bradford Airport and Heathrow.
BA operations director Andy Lord yesterday confirmed “the worst-kept secret in the region”.
He said: “Everyone at British Airways is incredibly excited about returning to Leeds Bradford.
“We are looking forward to working with the business community and everybody in Yorkshire to ensure that this route has the success it deserves and that it brings the benefits to Yorkshire that the region deserves.”
The four-times daily service begins on December 9, with fares starting from £42. The flights will be timed to offer convenient connections to key destinations such as Hong Kong, New York, Johannesburg, Singapore and Sydney.
Leeds Bradford commercial director Tony Hallwood said: “Today is a very special milestone in the airport’s 80-year history. We are welcoming back to Leeds Bradford the world’s favourite airline.
“It’s going to transform not just Leeds Bradford, not just the cities of Leeds and Bradford but the whole of the Yorkshire region.”
Asda chief executive Andy Clarke, who is chairman of Marketing Leeds, said improving connectivity between Leeds, London and the rest of the world “will create the final element to Leeds’s position as a truly global city”.
Roger Marsh, senior partner at accountancy firm PwC in Leeds, added: “I am certain of a rapid uptake of the service as it will help companies make their exporting ambitions a reality and promote crucial inward investment.”
BA flights ‘open Yorkshire’s economy to rest of world’: Business Thursday, Page 1.