Heathrow sets new record for Christmas air cargo

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London’s Heathrow Airport has released details on the 132,000 tonnes of cargo set to pass through it this month, on its way to be sold in shops or given as presents all over the world. The amount for 2016 is expected to be a 3% increase on last year, setting a new record for air freight in December at Heathrow, with the highest numbers since 1991.

Exact figures are still being calculated, but the biggest export will most likely be fresh salmon, of which 2,980 tonnes was sent last Christmas. Knitted and crocheted items, dairy products including clotted cream and books also prove popular, with 2,558 tonnes in total passing through in December 2015. While not in the top 10, whiskey exports see a huge jump this time of year, rising as much as 76% from November to December.

Products also arrive in the UK via Heathrow – the most popular item being cranberries from Chile, with 1,680 tonnes arriving this time last year. Lamb from New Zealand and peas from Guatemala are also high on the list, with 839 and 830 tonnes flown in respectively. Over the course of the year, Heathrow will handle around 1,000,000 tonnes of cargo.

Nick Platt, head of cargo, Heathrow Airport, said, “We may be a long way from the North Pole, but the figures today underline Heathrow’s vital part in delivering Christmas to the UK, and the British Christmas to the world. Of course, our standing agreement with Santa Claus remains and we’ll prioritize his landing clearance come Christmas Eve.”

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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