Oxford sees no capital gain in airport name move

Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:46am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Plans to raise the international profile of Oxford Airport by adding London to its name have upset residents of the British university city who argue it is famous enough in its own right.

Despite the city being a popular tourist destination and home to one of the world's top universities, bosses at the airport said they had renamed it "London Oxford Airport" to boost international awareness of its existence and its proximity to the capital.

"It is a silly idea," said Tony Joyce, chairman of the Oxford Civic Society, a group which promotes the understanding and protection of the city's heritage.

"Oxford can stand on its own feet without some funny modern thing like an airport affecting it," he said, adding that the new name was misleading and would leave any passengers expecting a direct link from the airport to London disappointed.

But James Dillon-Godfray, marketing manager at the airport -- which mainly serves business customers -- said the change was not a result of a lack of awareness of Oxford, but because many people did not realize how close it was to London.

It is around 60 miles from the center of London.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Keith Weir and Paul Casciato)