1. Economics
October 20, 2016updated 04 Aug 2023 9:32am

Every time the government delays its decision on expanding Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol sends a cake

By Jonn Elledge

Updated 25 October because… well, you’ll find out.

CityMetric contributor Tom Forth has noted in these pages before that the big winner from Heathrow’s decade-long failure to expand has been Amsterdam Schiphol. If you want to fly from large chunks of Britain to large chunks of the world, then the easiest and cheapest option is often to travel via the Netherlands. One might argue that this slightly undermines Heathrow’s claim we should be using northern tax revenues to pay for its new runway.

Whether the government accepts this argument remains to be seen – the consensus seems to be that the reason it keeps delaying the decision on where to build a new London runway is because

a) it wants to do it at Heathrow, not Gatwick, to consolidate its position as a hub airport, and

b) this is going to piss people off.

But one person who’s definitely noticed that Amsterdam Schiphol is doing pretty well out of our national inability to ever make difficult choices is whoever it is who’s in charge of marketing at Amsterdam Schiphol. And we can say that with some confidence because, every time the UK government delays its decision on airport expansion – again – Schiphol sends Heathrow a cake to say thank you.

That tweet is from the last time the decision was delayed, in summer 2015. This week, those Dutch rascals did it again.

Of course, this isn’t an act of malice on Schiphol’s part.

Perish the thought.

UPDATE: Heathrow, all pleased with itself at getting the go-ahead for a third runway, has decided to return the favour:

What is it with these people and cake? Jeez.

(Hat tip: the Independent’s Tom Peck.)

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @jonnelledge.

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