Long-haul routes boost cargo volumes at Heathrow and Gatwick

Gatwick Airport

Cargo at London’s Gatwick Airport continues to soar with growth of more than 20 per cent in August helped by long-haul routes.

The airport handled 9,826 tonnes of cargo in August, a year-on-year increase of 22.3 per cent helped by long-haul routes to destinations in China including Air China providing a link to Chengdu.

From December, China Eastern will connect Gatwick with Shanghai, providing an extra 3,700 tonnes of cargo capacity a year.

Gatwick Airport chief executive officer, Stewart Wingate says: “Our ongoing cargo success story is being driven by the soaring long-haul growth, and highlights the crucial role we play for our local and national economies.”

Heathrow Airport also grew in August, with volumes rising 1.2 per cent to 140,738 tonnes, with the Americas leading the way.

Trade with Latin America increased by 13.7 per cent to 4,718 tonnes and North America remained the largest trading partner, growing 3.1 per cent to 50,656 tonnes.

Asia Pacific was up 2.6 per cent to 44,408 tonnes and non-EU Europe was the only other area not to decline, with growth of 4.2 per cent to 4,807 tonnes.

The Middle East was down 4.9 per cent to 21,066 tonnes, the European Union by 0.5 per cent to 8,241 tonnes and Africa by 7.5 per cent to 6,764 tonnes.

Heathrow has welcomed new services to China including flights to Chongqing and Wuhan, with chief executive officer John Holland-Kaye saying: “August has been another stellar month for Heathrow with passenger numbers and freight volumes continuing to reach unprecedented heights. It’s brilliant to see consumers and cargo making their way through the UK’s largest port to these new Chinese destinations.”