Airport Express alliance hits buffers

Airport Express, the sales and marketing alliance for the airport train operators Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express, is being dissolved.

The ten-year-old alliance will come to an end on 21 September.

Heathrow Express is operated by airport owner BAA and Gatwick Express by Southern. The alliance originally also included Stansted Express but it left the group in 2006 when National Express East Anglia took over sales and marketing for the service.

Former Britax childcare marketer Paul Brindley was appointed commercial director of Heathrow Express in July and was also handed responsibility for marketing the alliance.

He says: “Both Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express are very strong brands and want to refocus priorities on their core business so they can continue to deliver excellent customer service.”

The split is thought to have been led by Gatwick Express so that Southern can develop the brand alongside its train commuter brand, also called Southern. The company was recently reappointed to operate Gatwick Express with a five-year contract.

It is believed integrated agency Libertine, which handled Airport Express’ marketing, will continue to work for the two operators.

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