Kent Airports May cargo traffic up

THE amount of cargo handled by Kent International Airport in the UK during May was up 68 per cent on the same month last year.

Latest figures show 2,260 tons of freight was handled at the airport last month, in what is traditionally its off-season for import cargo.

Matt Clarke (right), the airport’s chief executive, said KIA had recovered strongly from the fuel price spike in early 2008 and the associated drop in traffic experienced last year.

“The results represent a pleasing turnaround for us and show that we have bounced back from a challenging 2008. Like a number of other airports, we saw our cargo traffic decline as several airlines struggled to adapt to the rapid increase in fuel prices.

“Since then, however, the cargo side of our business has experienced steady growth as cost-conscious airlines seek out airports that can deliver the best value for money. Our freight handling facilities are second to none, with rapid import clearance systems and convenient access to the London distribution centres. Those factors have been instrumental to us winning new business,” said Clarke.

Infratil, the airport owner, has invested heavily in freight handling facilities in recent years and the airport has built a strong reputation in the industry based on its ability to unload airfreight, process it and allow shipments to get out on he road extremely quickly.

“If consumers find they can get something better and cheaper then they will use it and airlines are no different. In this economic climate every minute’s flying time and every pound counts, making Kent International Airport an ideal substitute for the larger – and sometimes more expensive – London airports,” Clarke added.

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