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Giving passengers the best airport transfer service in the world

Transport | Making every Journey better

Growth Needs Assessment

Journey4 were appointed by Heathrow Express, (HEx) to develop a long-term Commercial Strategy in response to the new competitive environment in which HEx was operating and to support the new operating model it was moving to. 

Heathrow Express was facing increased competition from the new Elizabeth Line which threatened to reduce passengers’ numbers whilst at the same time moving to a new operating model in partnership with Great Western Railway, including new rolling stock. In parallel Heathrow Airport, owners of Heathrow Express, were committed to increasing public transport journeys to and from the airport as part of their long-term vision of delivering the best airport experience in the world.

We were asked to support the development of the wider HEx Business Plan, (MBP) to 2028 to fit in with the requirements of the Surface Access strategy development process.

“Really well done to you and the leadership team for pulling the MBP together. It’s a strong, well laid out and actionable plan”

Ross Baker, Chief Commercial Officer, Heathrow Airport

Our Approach

We engaged with the HEx Senior Leadership Team, holding Vision, Values and Strategy workshops, applying the Heathrow Airport business planning template to structure outputs. We built on the commercial strategy developed in advance of the business plan process and gained feedback from the Surface Access Board to the emerging strategy for Hex.

We utilised the Journey4 Organisational Alignment model to develop a strategic focus around customer and revenue growth. We agreed the Vision, Purpose, Values and Strategic goals, and applied our Parallel Planning model to strategy development, agreeing the long, medium and short term objectives. 

We developed a Strategy on Page, along with a full RACI, capturing key accountabilities and responsibilities for the implementation of the Business Plan. A full set of key performance measures was agreed, and a process established for evaluating progress against these measures during implementation.

Impact of our work

The HEx Business Plan was fully endorsed by the Board of Heathrow Airport and integrated within the Surface Access Strategy as part of the long term aims to deliver the best airport experience in the world. 

Clear lines of accountability and responsibility were identified, and a ‘growth’ mindset embedded within the organisation despite the competitive threats on passenger numbers.

Strong progress was being made with the implementation of the business plan, but in 2020 the global pandemic had a significant impact on air travel and led to emergency plans being implemented across the airport, including Heathrow Express.