London Heathrow hits cargo record

London Heathrow hits cargo record

Heathrow Airport is in the early stages of an expansion that will include a third runway.

London Heathrow airport’s cargo traffic grew at an all-time high in July, largely driven by a surge in American Airlines trans-Atlantic shipments.

Europe’s fourth-largest air freight hub handled 143,000 tonnes (157,30 tons), resulting in a 10 percent rise in traffic in the first seven months of the year to 966,580 tonnes and a 12-month increase of 7.7 percent to 1.63 million tonnes.

The airport attributed the record July increase, which followed a 13.4 percent year-over-year rise in June, to a “huge” 44 percent boost in American Airlines traffic, which pushed up traffic to and from North America, its largest market, by 16 percent.

American Airlines Cargo has boosted its presence at Heathrow by expanding overnight trucking services from the Netherlands, Germany, and France to connect with its 20 direct daily flights to the United States.

The carrier has also increased its cargo lift out of Heathrow with the introduction of more “freight friendly” aircraft, including the Boeing 777-300 and 787.

Traffic to and from East Asia jumped 14 percent on the back of strong growth in cargoes to China, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Heathrow continues to outpace growth at Frankfurt airport, Europe’s top freight hub, which posted a 4.2 percent increase in July to 188,009 tonnes for a seven-month total of 1.264 million tonnes, up 5.2 percent on the same period in 2016.

The UK airport’s passenger traffic also recorded its best-ever single month in July, with a 1.2 percent year-over-year increase to 7.53 million.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.