UK freighter hubs see record November
12 / 12 / 2017
The UK’s "two most important airports" for freighter aircraft, East Midlands (EMA) and London Stansted, have seen record volumes of cargo in November, said airport owner MAG.
The increased volumes were driven by early Christmas shopping and e-commerce, as Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending "shifted increasingly online from the high street", said a MAG spokesperson, who added that electronics, clothes and beauty products have all been popular imports in November.
MAG’s airports at Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands also all grew their passenger numbers, with East Midlands growing 20%, compared to November 2016 when the airport underwent a programme of weekend runway closures. MAG as a whole served 3.8m passengers in November (+4.1%).
The UK airport group last week announced a 12.9% increase in interim revenues and also announced the sale of Bournemouth Airport to Rigby Group.
Said MAG: "London Stansted Airport’s cargo operation grew 12.3% and East Midlands’s cargo tonnage grew by 29.8%* as new global cargo routes to the Middle East and America, combined with new capacity for express parcels, allowed the two airports to play key roles in delivering the nation’s Christmas shopping.
"In the past year new cargo routes at London Stansted have launched with CargologicAir, Saudia and Silk Way West to Mexico and North America, the Middle East and Azerbaijan respectively. New cargo routes at East Midlands include Milan and Madrid."
This, combined with expansion of DHL’s hub facility at East Midlands, means that MAG is projecting "a record year for cargo at the UK’s biggest pure cargo airport".
On the passenger side, London Stansted grew 4.8% and East Midlands grew by 20.0%* compared with November last year.
Andy Cliffe, managing director of EMA, said: “The cargo figures that we are announcing this month show the important role that airports like East Midlands and London Stansted play in delivering our festive goods and presents, as well as exporting our world class manufactured products to customers all across the globe.
“The health of air cargo up and down the country is something the [UK] government should be looking to promote in its aviation strategy, which needs to look at improving connectivity and trade links from all UKairports, not just Heathrow.”
*November 2016 figures at EMA were affected by weekend runway closures