Heathrow Airport saw a surge of 2.9 per cent in cargo volumes in January – which was driven by Mexico and China, both up 28 per cent and Turkey, up 16 per cent.
The airport handled 119,214 tonnes in the month. On a 12-month rolling basis freight is down 0.2 per cent, and 1.5 million tonnes have been processed at the UK cargo hub.
Heathrow says new routes like Vietnam Airlines’ services to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City following its switch from Gatwick Airport last year and British Airways’ new flights to Kuala Lumpur boosted freight volumes to East Asia by 26 per cent against January 2015.
This it explains underlines the export growth potential that an expanded Heathrow with up to 40 new long-haul connections would deliver the UK.
The airport also says the trend looks set to continue as Garuda Indonesia prepares to move its UK operations from Gatwick to Heathrow in March as the first non-stop services to Jakarta will provide British small-medium enterprises with improved direct access to the largest economy in Southeast Asia.
Heathrow chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye says: “With record passenger numbers and strong cargo volumes – it’s been a great start to 2016 for the nation’s largest port, Heathrow.
“With expansion, we’ll open up 40 new trading links which will carry more British exports to the fastest growing markets in the world. We’ll help the government rebalance our economy and build a better Britain. The Prime Minister can say yes and we will deliver.”