Emerging markets drive biggest cargo growth in 5 years at Heathrow

Heathrow Airport, American Airlines 777 on stand during cargo loading, May 2013.

Long-haul emerging markets drove the nearly 13 per cent growth in March at Heathrow Airport – the biggest monthly surge in more than five years.

Heathrow handled 148,269 tonnes in March, a 12.6 per cent rise on the same month in 2016. In the first three months of the year it has handled 399,481 tonnes, a rise of 7.3 per cent. On a rolling 12-month basis tonnage is up 4.7 per cent to 1,568,384 tonnes.

Heathrow is the UK’s largest port, and handles over 30 per cent of non-EU exports and more cargo by value than all other UK airports combined.

Key growth markets in March included Mexico (+28 per cent), Brazil (+13 per cent), India (+9 per cent) and China (+5 per cent) as well as Indonesia (up over 9,000 per cent) after Garuda Indonesia moved to Heathrow from Gatwick Airport last year.

China Southern is to double cargo capacity on one of Britain’s most strategic trading routes when it launches an additional service to Guangzhou in June, further boosting export opportunities for British business.

Heathrow chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye says: “Surging trade, more domestic connections and more long-haul growth are the bedrock of the UK’s economy. Today’s figures put Britain in a strong position as the Government begins Brexit negotiations and underline the unique role Heathrow plays as the nation’s global gateway.

“Our expansion plans will give Britain the tools to do even better. We’ll double our domestic connections and add up to 40 new long-haul trading links, making the UK the best connected country on earth. It’s a huge prize that only Heathrow delivers and we’re getting on with securing it for Britain.”