The Manchester Airports Group (MAG) saw strong cargo growth in 2015 across its UK gateways, handling an additional 27,720 tonnes compared with 2014, which was a 4.3% per cent increase.
Volumes increased by 4.5 per cent in 2015 at East Midlands Airport, the UK’s largest airport for dedicated cargo, which had its busiest ever month for cargo in December.
At London Stansted Airport, new routes by China Southern and Turkish Airlines helped the airport to a 2.4 per cent year-on-year (YOY) increase in tonnage.
The airport operator says East Midlands and London Stansted are benefitting from their ample spare runway capacity as other London airports reach capacity.
Meanwhile, at Manchester Airport, growth in long-haul bellyhold cargo, alongside the expanding Airport City development adjacent to the airport, took the airport past the 100,000 tonnes mark as traffic increased 9.6 per cent YOY.
The airport’s cargo operation, alongside that of East Midlands, also saw a significant uplift as operators used air cargo services to avoid disruption at the Channel Tunnel over the summer.
MAG says growth was bolstered by exceptionally busy festive periods in December. Overall, MAG airports handled nine per cent more cargo in December compared with the same month in 2014.
East Midlands handled more than 30,000 tonnes in the month to 30,331, London Stansted handled 21,368, and Manchester 8,607 tonnes, rises of 12.8 per cent, 7.7 per cent and 10.5 per cent, respectively.
MAG business development manager for cargo, Conan Busby says: “We’re seeing strong growth in cargo volumes at MAG airports, driven by a variety of factors. While the growth in express cargo was driven by the increasing popularity of internet shopping and e-commerce among consumers, we have also seen operators join us for the first time and also won mode share from ground transport as freight got diverted to us because of the Channel Tunnel disruption over the summer.
“We are also seeing a lack of capacity at other London airports especially in long haul bellyhold – something that our airports are taking advantage of with their spare runway capacity, good onward transport infrastructure and competitive offers.
“We look forward to welcoming more new operators in the year ahead to our airports. 2016 promises much for MAG Cargo.”