Virgin Atlantic chief executive Craig Kreeger warned that the airports review still does not resolve runway capacity issues.

He dismissed suggested expansion of Gatwick – one of the three preferred options put forward by the Airports Commission.

Kreeger said: “UK economic competitiveness relies on increasing direct connectivity to growth markets and that requires a bigger hub, which is currently Heathrow.

“The UK’s ability to compete with its European rivals for global trade will continue to be damaged without additional hub capacity.

“Although Gatwick is a very important airport to us, additional runway capacity there does not address the UK’s chronic hub capacity shortage.

“The passenger mix at London’s hub will always include point-to-point and connecting, business and leisure passengers.

“Attempting to substitute point-to-point capacity for capacity at the hub may be more politically expedient but it is not commercially viable.

“Commissions and consultations have come and gone, and political wrangling has failed to translate into action.

“It is vital that when Davies reports the final recommendations, a firm and final decision is taken to increase hub capacity and the UK’s competitiveness.”