- 100 tonnes of additional cargo will go through Heathrow a week
- New service will add to the airport’s efforts to double cargo capacity through expansion, and £180 million investment
- Last year, 29% of the UK’s non-EU exports by value went through Heathrow
Starting tomorrow, Heathrow will welcome its second dedicated cargo-only service, AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC). The service will offer 100 tonnes of additional cargo capacity a week to Heathrow, already the country’s biggest port by value.
The news will be welcomed by British exporters, which currently face a shortage of space in aircraft holds going to long-haul destinations. The squeeze is most pronounced on routes to Asia, a region where consumer spend is expected to reach $32 trillion by 2030.
Having received Government backing for its expansion, Heathrow will be able to open up 40 destinations and almost double cargo capacity. Heathrow is also investing £180 million over 15 years to improve its cargo infrastructure and processes. These investments will fund a specialist pharmaceutical storage area, as well as better infrastructure to reduce congestion and halve process time from today’s 8-9 hours to four hours.
The new ABC service will operate an ad-hoc weekly service, and utilises slots not popular with passenger airlines.
Nick Platts, Head of Cargo at Heathrow Airport said:
“We are pleased to welcome AirBridgeCargo Airlines to Heathrow. Cargo is a little-known but huge part of our operations - in fact, Heathrow is responsible for 29% of all UK non- EU exports, virtually all of which goes in the belly-hold of passenger aircraft, making us Britain’s largest port. New cargo partners like ABC, along with our plans for expansion at Heathrow, will allow us to increase our cargo capacity and keep the UK open to business around the world.”
ABC’s Heathrow service is the 14th European service destination for AirBridgeCargo and its customers, and will leverage growing market demand for British goods with mainland Europe and South East Asia.
Robert van de Weg, Senior Vice President of sales and marketing, Volga-Dnepr Group said:
“Introduction of a Heathrow service right now is an important step of a for us while increasing the number of delivery solutions worldwide. Europe, together with China, has been our prime and anchored market since the very first day of our operations, showing stable results and supporting ABC’s performance, 2016 being no exception with 22% year-on-year growth of tonnage out of Europe during the nine months of the year”
Heathrow cargo value has been growing strongly by an average of 9.5% between 2010 and 2015
So far this year AirBridgeCargo has embraced different parts of the world, launching flights to USA (Houston and Seattle) and South East Asia (Phnom Penh), thus offering its customers more diversified services via its Moscow hub.
Notes to Editors:
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Heathrow’s strategy to become one of Europe’s best airports for cargo, is outlined in its Cargo Blueprint, accessible here: https://your.heathrow.com/takingbritainfurther/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Heathrow-Cargo-Blueprint.pdf