Outrage at airport rebranding

Oxford Mail: The airport’s marketing manager James Dillon Godfray The airport’s marketing manager James Dillon Godfray

Heritage campaigners have branded a move to rename the city’s airport London Oxford as “insulting”.

Bosses at the airport have decided on the change in a bid to attract more business flights and private jets.

They hope to make capital gains by rebranding the site in Kidlington as a London airport despite the fact it is 59 miles from Marble Arch, the centre of London.

The change means Oxford becomes the ninth airport to come under London’s umbrella.

The move has been welcomed by business leaders, but criticised by civic leaders as an insult to Oxford’s status as a world-famous city.

Oxford Civic Society member Ros Weatherall said: “Good grief. Oxford is a great place in its own right and I find it insulting it is being considered just another offshoot of London.

“Trying to make Oxford seem like a suburb of London is very misleading.

“This is an insult to the major historical and cultural impact Oxford has had on the country.”

The society’s transport secretary David Townsend, 77, said: “It seems rather silly.

“Oxford isn’t a London airport and we wouldn’t want it to be.

“Anyone who wanted to go to London wouldn’t want to end up in Kidlington.

“I find it amazing, Oxford is quite capable of standing on its own feet.”

It comes just a month after we revealed the airport was in talks with several operators about starting daily business flights to European capitals, as well as offering further weekly charter flights for tourists.

However, the airport which is owned by billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben through the holding company Aldersgate Investments, has denied the move is part of a plan to increase the number of charter flights to the airport.

But the airport’s marketing manager James Dillon Godfray hopes to bring in up to five more private business flights a day. There is an average of ten private business arrivals to the airport every day.

He said: “We’re not meaning to insult Oxford or play down its history.

“Oxford is probably the second best recognised city in the UK throughout the entire world but people just don’t realise how close it is to London.

“This will help increase awareness of our existence to the overseas business aviation sector, many of whom were not aware of the availability of an airport to the north-west of London.

“This will, of course, attract more business to the city and county by default.

“Oxford could be losing out on custom by not identifying itself as a viable London alternative.”

Oxfordshire Chamber of Commerce policy executive Claire Prosser said: “By and large we think it’s a good idea.

“We appreciate Oxford is 50 miles from London, but we shouldn’t be too parochial about this.

“We want to keep the brand of Oxford but this decision is looking to tie in with the marketability of London.

“It’s a pull for businesses and should be good for the business community in Oxfordshire and inward investment.”

Comments (22)

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7:40am Mon 17 Aug 09

Lovebike says...

People aren't stupid enough to buy "London Oxford"!

Great to see another imaginative and environmentally responsible business venture. Chucks away, eh?
People aren't stupid enough to buy "London Oxford"! Great to see another imaginative and environmentally responsible business venture. Chucks away, eh? Lovebike
  • Score: 0

7:43am Mon 17 Aug 09

SNJ says...

I've got a better idea. Why not call it Consignia?
I've got a better idea. Why not call it Consignia? SNJ
  • Score: 0

8:05am Mon 17 Aug 09

LadyPenelope says...

Adding "London" to the airport name will not bring it any closer to London.

Besides, it's not even in Oxford, it's in Kidlington, so they've already changed the name to help out those whose geography is not so good...

People know where Oxford is, so it doesn't need London attachments to bring more business. Surely that would make people want to avoid it??

Adding "London" to the airport name will not bring it any closer to London. Besides, it's not even in Oxford, it's in Kidlington, so they've already changed the name to help out those whose geography is not so good... People know where Oxford is, so it doesn't need London attachments to bring more business. Surely that would make people want to avoid it?? LadyPenelope
  • Score: 0

9:14am Mon 17 Aug 09

EB says...

Fine. If it means that eventually Oxford will get commuter and leisure flights then great. It means less travel to Gatwick/Stansted for me!
Fine. If it means that eventually Oxford will get commuter and leisure flights then great. It means less travel to Gatwick/Stansted for me! EB
  • Score: 0

9:30am Mon 17 Aug 09

cottage2day says...

I was half expecting it to be called Mustafa Bin Laden Airways or something!! Who cares what its called. As long as it don't affect the services, and if it will make more services available, it can only be a good thing. For christ sake, all people do is moan as soon as a little change is made. IT'S A NAME!!!
I was half expecting it to be called Mustafa Bin Laden Airways or something!! Who cares what its called. As long as it don't affect the services, and if it will make more services available, it can only be a good thing. For christ sake, all people do is moan as soon as a little change is made. IT'S A NAME!!! cottage2day
  • Score: 0

10:08am Mon 17 Aug 09

morrisman says...

Calling the airport at Kidlington 'London Oxford' is nothing compared to others - there's an airport at Lydd on the south coast which is known as 'London Ashford', even though it's 18 miles from Ashford and 75 miles from London!
Calling the airport at Kidlington 'London Oxford' is nothing compared to others - there's an airport at Lydd on the south coast which is known as 'London Ashford', even though it's 18 miles from Ashford and 75 miles from London! morrisman
  • Score: 0

10:51am Mon 17 Aug 09

online_reader says...

I think it's stupid, but it's nothing new, Bicester Village advertises itself as "London, Oxford & The Cotswolds" as though they are all basically the same thing. It's like all those Ryanair airports that pretend they're somewhere they're not (Frankfurt Hahn being near Koblenz, about 2 hours from Frankfurt) - just an inconvenience for the traveller.
I think it's stupid, but it's nothing new, Bicester Village advertises itself as "London, Oxford & The Cotswolds" as though they are all basically the same thing. It's like all those Ryanair airports that pretend they're somewhere they're not (Frankfurt Hahn being near Koblenz, about 2 hours from Frankfurt) - just an inconvenience for the traveller. online_reader
  • Score: 0

11:32am Mon 17 Aug 09

Joe Cooke says...

I would of prefered Oxford airport but lets hope more flights go from there to Europe it will save on all the car journeys for so many people to Heathrow,Luton,Birmi
ngham and Gatwick.
I would of prefered Oxford airport but lets hope more flights go from there to Europe it will save on all the car journeys for so many people to Heathrow,Luton,Birmi ngham and Gatwick. Joe Cooke
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Mon 17 Aug 09

Concerned one says...

Perhaps they are making a bid to be London's third airport. As long as they don't fly over my house they can call it what they want.
Perhaps they are making a bid to be London's third airport. As long as they don't fly over my house they can call it what they want. Concerned one
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Mon 17 Aug 09

KidlingtonBloke says...

O.K. - it seems a bit daft on first analysis, but the facts are that we've got an airport that can take the same sized aircraft as London City, it's on the fastest motorway to London, the least congested motorway and its definately less drive time if you live in the west side of London compared with Stansted. Having an 'international' airport our doorstep suddenly adds a lot more credibility to locating your business and driving inward investment into the Oxford area. Not such a bad thing after all? Just need to film a piece for the next Morse series here and then the world will know you can fly here!
O.K. - it seems a bit daft on first analysis, but the facts are that we've got an airport that can take the same sized aircraft as London City, it's on the fastest motorway to London, the least congested motorway and its definately less drive time if you live in the west side of London compared with Stansted. Having an 'international' airport our doorstep suddenly adds a lot more credibility to locating your business and driving inward investment into the Oxford area. Not such a bad thing after all? Just need to film a piece for the next Morse series here and then the world will know you can fly here! KidlingtonBloke
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Mon 17 Aug 09

RJ says...

'London Oxford' is misleading and will fool no-one!

You might as well call Southampton airport 'London Southampton' - the distance is not dissimilar.

Why not come up with a more catchy, creative name, and link it with a local landmark? - Something which is more accurate, and more memorable too?
'London Oxford' is misleading and will fool no-one! You might as well call Southampton airport 'London Southampton' - the distance is not dissimilar. Why not come up with a more catchy, creative name, and link it with a local landmark? - Something which is more accurate, and more memorable too? RJ
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Mon 17 Aug 09

BIGGER says...

HERE'S AN IDEA.
LET US NAME IT "VIRGIN" OR "BRANSON" AIRPORT, WOULD RICHARD LIKE IT OR WHAT!
HERE'S AN IDEA. LET US NAME IT "VIRGIN" OR "BRANSON" AIRPORT, WOULD RICHARD LIKE IT OR WHAT! BIGGER
  • Score: 0

2:35pm Mon 17 Aug 09

Mr and Mrs Lees says...

Isn't the city's noise pollution from Aircrafts, and helicopters bad enough already. The airport already sneaked through a bigger run way. I just find the back handedness of business in Oxfordshire horrible. Be open and say you want to market for low cost flights. Deal with the fall out like a responsible company and lets start real debate if we want to live with aircraft noise to create more money for the city.
Isn't the city's noise pollution from Aircrafts, and helicopters bad enough already. The airport already sneaked through a bigger run way. I just find the back handedness of business in Oxfordshire horrible. Be open and say you want to market for low cost flights. Deal with the fall out like a responsible company and lets start real debate if we want to live with aircraft noise to create more money for the city. Mr and Mrs Lees
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Mon 17 Aug 09

ayerbe says...

What I think it's shocking is that the Chamber of Commerce thinks this is a good idea.... I would have thought that the globally known name of "Oxford" would be strong enough to be used as a brand...

Given that you can probably reach Bristol airport in more or less the same time as it will take you to drive from Kidlington to London (especially on the bypass at rush hour!!!) perhaps we could suggest to the Bristolians they renamed their airport "London Bristol"!? I suspect though they may have more pride in their roots than the Oxfordians...
What I think it's shocking is that the Chamber of Commerce thinks this is a good idea.... I would have thought that the globally known name of "Oxford" would be strong enough to be used as a brand... Given that you can probably reach Bristol airport in more or less the same time as it will take you to drive from Kidlington to London (especially on the bypass at rush hour!!!) perhaps we could suggest to the Bristolians they renamed their airport "London Bristol"!? I suspect though they may have more pride in their roots than the Oxfordians... ayerbe
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Mon 17 Aug 09

capt.stout says...

Mr&Mrs lees,i don't know if you are originally from around Oxford,but back handedness is how this city work's and it mainly stem's from the university and filter's down.
Why not call it Oxford London Airport, and keep everyone happy!!!
I am already fed up with the jumbo's flying low in the early hour's heading for Birmingham,so i look forward to Kidlington airport hitting the big time.
Mr&Mrs lees,i don't know if you are originally from around Oxford,but back handedness is how this city work's and it mainly stem's from the university and filter's down. Why not call it Oxford London Airport, and keep everyone happy!!! I am already fed up with the jumbo's flying low in the early hour's heading for Birmingham,so i look forward to Kidlington airport hitting the big time. capt.stout
  • Score: 0

4:56pm Mon 17 Aug 09

oxfordstudent says...

I think the name:

"Oxford Airport which is near enough to London to warrant its usage taking into account the fabulous transport links between Oxford and London"

would be more suitable. Anyone in agreement? I'll get the sign made if they want, I know someone who does them locally in Oxford, no, London, oh look you're getting ME confused now!
I think the name: "Oxford Airport which is near enough to London to warrant its usage taking into account the fabulous transport links between Oxford and London" would be more suitable. Anyone in agreement? I'll get the sign made if they want, I know someone who does them locally in Oxford, no, London, oh look you're getting ME confused now! oxfordstudent
  • Score: 0

11:28pm Mon 17 Aug 09

PaulOgborne says...

Please show me the rock under which the person who thought this one up was born please. I am all for promoting the local area (within reason) but surely this can only cause embarassment.
No doubt whoever it was will be proposing bulldozing Woodstock and Blenheim Palace to make way for another runway next!!
Please show me the rock under which the person who thought this one up was born please. I am all for promoting the local area (within reason) but surely this can only cause embarassment. No doubt whoever it was will be proposing bulldozing Woodstock and Blenheim Palace to make way for another runway next!! PaulOgborne
  • Score: 0

8:17am Tue 18 Aug 09

Concerned one says...

Perhaps future expansion is the thinking behind the name. If I lived anywhere near the airport or on the flight path I would be concerned. The comment from Mr and Mrs Lees that " the city's noise pollution from Aircrafts, and helicopters is bad enough already." is true.
Perhaps future expansion is the thinking behind the name. If I lived anywhere near the airport or on the flight path I would be concerned. The comment from Mr and Mrs Lees that " the city's noise pollution from Aircrafts, and helicopters is bad enough already." is true. Concerned one
  • Score: 0

9:16am Tue 18 Aug 09

Phil Hawkins says...

The relentless and aggressive expansion of Kidlington airport (as I continue to think of it) threatens sporting aviation at other local airfields particularly Weston-on-the-Green and Bicester. Before long there will be a huge exclusive Air Traffic Zone around Kidlington, further restricting the airspace available to gliders and "general aviation." No-one takes responsibility for the adverse safety aspects of that, do they?
The relentless and aggressive expansion of Kidlington airport (as I continue to think of it) threatens sporting aviation at other local airfields particularly Weston-on-the-Green and Bicester. Before long there will be a huge exclusive Air Traffic Zone around Kidlington, further restricting the airspace available to gliders and "general aviation." No-one takes responsibility for the adverse safety aspects of that, do they? Phil Hawkins
  • Score: 0

10:24am Tue 18 Aug 09

andypandy66 says...

I wonder if there are, well trades description issues is not the right expression, umm missrepresentation issues here. The airport isn't even the "London" side of Oxford.
I wonder if there are, well trades description issues is not the right expression, umm missrepresentation issues here. The airport isn't even the "London" side of Oxford. andypandy66
  • Score: 0

11:20am Thu 20 Aug 09

tribalamazonian says...

I reckon someone read the comments on here a few weeks ago when someone snidely referred to the airport as "London Oxford". Why not "Oxford Spires" or "Oxford Kidlington"? No, that would never do...
I reckon someone read the comments on here a few weeks ago when someone snidely referred to the airport as "London Oxford". Why not "Oxford Spires" or "Oxford Kidlington"? No, that would never do... tribalamazonian
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Sat 22 Aug 09

cyclingpilot says...

Why not follow the American example and name it after some obtuse former, or current mayor, come to think of it, Mary Clarkson London Oxford International has a real ring to it, and will give some brevity on the Radio for Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers alike. At least it may speed the application for planning, for the third runway. Come to think of it, not sure that MCLOI, is as catchy as JFK, or CDG, but give it time.
Why not follow the American example and name it after some obtuse former, or current mayor, come to think of it, Mary Clarkson London Oxford International has a real ring to it, and will give some brevity on the Radio for Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers alike. At least it may speed the application for planning, for the third runway. Come to think of it, not sure that MCLOI, is as catchy as JFK, or CDG, but give it time. cyclingpilot
  • Score: 0

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