Heathrow Airport is expecting to fly over 143 million kilos of cargo around the world for Christmas, with goods including lighting sets, frozen lobster and dried flowers.
The London airport, which is the biggest port in the UK by value, has released data showing the spike in cargo and some of the interesting exports transported in the run up to the 25th December.
The data from November and December 2016 shows a spike in certain products coming into the airport and out to non-European Union (EU) destinations including 27,467 kg of Christmas lighting sets compared to the monthly average of 7,203 kg from January to October; 443,146 kg of frozen lobsters compared to an average of 163,312kg; 31,316 kg of calendars compared to 3,382 kg, and 310,677 kg of dried flowers including decorations, compared to 109,796 kg in a normal month.
Salmon is the most popular export to non-EU destinations by weight in November and December, with 6,070,000 kg flying in November and December 2016, with exports of books the second most popular, with 4,834,000 kg going through last year.
Heathrow Airport head of cargo, Nick Platts says: “Heathrow is at its busiest time at Christmas – and this year, we not only expect record numbers of passengers to fly through, but also a record amount of cargo to be flown in the holds under their feet.”
“Santa may still have the claim on the most deliveries on Christmas Eve, but for the months before it, Heathrow is doing its bit to export our British Christmas across the world.”
By export destination outside the EU, the USA was the biggest market with 15.3 million kg of exports, followed by China at 6.2 million, the UAE with 3.7 million, Australia at 3.3 million and Hong Kong with 2.7 million.
Heathrow handled a record 290,340,803 kg of exports flying through January to October to non-EU destinations, an increase of 8.5 per cent on last year, worth £39.6 billion ($52.9 billion).
To highlight the variety of exports Heathrow handles, it has launched a ’12 Exporters of Christmas’ social media campaign, telling stories of SMEs up and down the country that rely on the airport to export products including tea, jam and biscuits across the world.