New Figures Confirm Heathrow Is Vital For Exports In A Post-Brexit Britain

Published on : Wednesday, August 3, 2016

heathrow_175811338594571_thumb-300x209New figures show Heathrow handled 29% of all non-EU exports by value last year
Heathrow export volumes outside the EU have grown 9.5% over five years

On the day of the first Economy and Industrial Strategy Cabinet Committee meeting, Heathrow’s vital role in driving the export economy have been confirmed by new figures that show the uniquely critical role Heathrow plays in transporting British goods to markets outside the EU.

The figures based on UKTrade Info/HMRC data show that:
29% of all non-EU exports were transported via the UK’s only hub airport in 2015. In stark contrast Gatwick was responsible for just 0.2%; and
Whilst Heathrow cargo value has been growing strongly by an average of 9.5% between 2010 and 2015 and all other ports have grown 5.7%, Gatwick’s has been declining by -4.3% over the same period


The data reflects the increasingly important role that Heathrow plays in getting British goods to long-haul markets which can’t be replicated by any other UK airport. As the UK’s biggest port by value, a huge range of exports from precious metals and turbojets to fresh salmon from Scotland passes through Heathrow’s cargo terminals.


Commenting on the figures, Heathrow Director of Strategy Andrew MacMillan said:
“If the Government is serious about making a success of post-Brexit Britain, Heathrow must expand. We are Britain’s biggest port and the UK’s gateway to markets across the globe, responsible for 29% of all exports outside the EU.

A third runway will help open up 40 new markets to British businesses, increasing trade and boosting the UK’s economy by up to £211bn. Britain’s exporters are open for business. Let’s show the world that we are serious about being an outward-facing, trading nation.”

Regular flights from Heathrow enable entrepreneurs to meet demand for just in time goods from growing markets like Jakarta, one of the world’s most populous cities – its economy grew by 5% last year. Capacity constraints at Heathrow means airlines can’t meet demand to new markets – for example Garuda Airlines, Indonesia’s national carrier, had to wait eight years for its landing slot at Heathrow, while another 32 airlines are queuing for availability – each one a missed economic opportunity for British exporters.

While Heathrow remains constrained, existing long-haul trading routes are starting to fill up, with cargo demand from British exporters exceeding available space in some aircraft holds. The squeeze is most pronounced on routes to Asia, a region where consumer spend is expected to reach $32trillion by 2030.

Expansion would open up 40 new markets to businesses and almost double cargo capacity. The resulting increase in international trade would give Britain the best possible chance of a bright economic future outside the EU, allowing businesses to be fleet of foot, win orders, retain customers and hire more staff than their overseas rivals.

Julian Hughes, Export Executive from Rodda’s clotted cream in Cornwall said:
“From a business started on a farmhouse kitchen in Cornwall in 1890, our dairy products are now exported all over the world – from Hong Kong and the UAE to Singapore and Japan, our most popular market. In fact, around 10 million portions of our clotted creams are served annually on afternoon teas on board aeroplanes! Our outlook is global and travel is absolutely vital in enabling us to access new long-haul markets.

We have a brilliant network of distributors who know that getting our product where it needs to be in a timely and affordable way is as important to our suppliers as the product itself. That’s why Heathrow is vital in enabling us strike deals and compete with rivals across the globe.”


The findings paint a clear picture as to why long-haul airlines overwhelmingly choose to operate from a hub airport like Heathrow. The demand created by a combination of direct and transfer passengers with freight makes such routes viable and more frequent. That’s why as the UK’s global hub, Heathrow’s connections allow British exporters to trade with all the growing markets of the world, strengthening Britain’s position as one of the great trading nations.

Source:- Heathrow Airport

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