Some of Boris Johnson’s word’s might have come back to haunt him.

In an open letter today (Friday, August 29), Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye reminded the Mayor of London of a few of the negative things he had said about Gatwick Airport in the past – “An extra runway at Gatwick would not make a bean of difference because the airlines will still want to go to Heathrow”; and: “Expanding Gatwick is a sham, a snare, a delusion” – and called on him to back Heathrow if his master plan is thrown out.

If, as rumoured, the Davies Commission, which is investigating runway capacity in the south of England, does announce a decision on the ‘Boris Island’ project next week, and that decision is not to include it in its ongoing considerations, then Mr Holland-Kaye wants the Mayor’s support.

“We both want to keep Britain as a global economic power for generations to come, enhance London’s position as a world City, as well as create over 100,000 new jobs many of which will be in your proposed constituency of Uxbridge,” wrote Mr Holland-Kaye.

“Heathrow can help you do this and I urge you to maintain your support for a successful hub airport.

“Any other choice would be a betrayal of the case that you have made so effectively over the last three years. “

Heathrow says its figures show about 2,500 people in Uxbridge owe their living to the airport. The number rises to about 4,000 in the borough as a whole.

John Holland-Kaye’s letter in full:

“Dear Boris,

Despite our differences, we have always agreed that London and the UK need a successful hub airport to compete. The airport debate is a question of “What do we want for our country?”.

“The global economy is changing rapidly.  Britain should be at the centre of the world economy, beating France and Germany in winning business in the growth markets of the world - Asia and the Americas. Instead, without action we face a future cut off from some of the world’s most important markets.

“You recognise that a hub airport does something different than a point-to-point airport.  By combining direct passengers with transfer passengers a hub is able to fill the large aircraft that make long-haul travel possible. 

“You have said yourself that Britain definitely needs a successful hub airport if it is to compete in the global race. This leaves two choices: expand Heathrow or build a new solution in the Thames Estuary.

“Those are the only ways to deliver an airport with the size and scale to keep Britain at the heart of the global economy.

“Gatwick is different, it serves the short-haul and holiday market.  We have nothing against Gatwick but you have rightly identified that its claim that it can deliver the same benefits as a hub airport is ‘a sham, a snare and a delusion’. 

“I agree with you when you say a second runway at Gatwick would not make a bean of difference to the global connectivity we need. Air China’s withdrawal from Gatwick is just the latest example of Gatwick’s difficulty in making direct, daily, long-haul flights work. 

“If your own proposal for a new Thames Estuary airport is not shortlisted by the Airports Commission then Heathrow will be the only hub option left in the race.  It will be the only option capable of providing frequent direct long-haul flights to fast-growing countries like China, India and Brazil.

“We both want to keep Britain as a global economic power for generations to come, enhance London’s position as a world City, as well as create over 100,000 new jobs many of which will be in your proposed constituency of Uxbridge.

“Heathrow can help you do this and I urge you to maintain your support for a successful hub airport.

“Any other choice would be a betrayal of the case that you have made so effectively over the last three years.”            

A Gatwick Airport spokesman said: “We will await the outcome of the Airports Commission’s decision on the Estuary option before commenting. If the option is taken off the table we will write privately to the Mayor, giving him the respect he deserves.

“Building a second runway at Gatwick will deliver two world class airports and competition, which will lead to lower air fares and greater choice for passengers and business. It will also help make Heathrow better; their expensive charges would come down and they would be better incentivised to alleviate 'Heathrow Hassle', which has blighted British travellers for years.

“Building a third runway at Heathrow will, in our view, diminish the choice available to ordinary British passengers, making it more expensive to go on holiday, to travel for business and to export goods and services. We support competition, reduced fares and two world-class airports serving the UK as a whole.

"As the Mayor himself said: “Why on earth entrench a huge planning error and expand Heathrow and consign future generations to misery...?””