Air cargo at East Midlands Airport could create over 12,000 jobs

East Midlands Airport is getting ready to play a bigger part in boosting UK trade, creating new jobs and injecting money into the economy due to the growth of its cargo business, according to new figures

A recent study found that the airport has a set of strengths that make it suited to meet the growing demand for air freight in the years to come.

The study, conducted by air travel consultants York Aviation, predicts that air cargo growth at East Midlands Airport could generate between £687m and £1.8bn in additional economic value and create between 2,700 and 12,600 new jobs by 2030.

The strengths mentioned include its central location and easy access to major road and rail networks, as well as the fact that 80% of all large-scale warehouse sites are within 125 miles of East Midlands Airport.

The airport also specialises in handling express air freight, which is carried in dedicated cargo aircraft rather than in the belly of passenger planes. This type of air cargo is expected to become increasingly important in global trade.

East Midlands Airport can accommodate more cargo flights as the economy expands, unlike some other airports facing constraints.

Furthermore, East Midlands Airport has been gaining market share compared to other airports like Heathrow, indicating its potential as a viable alternative to London’s congested airports.

Currently, the airport contributes around £443m to the regional economy and handles around 400,000 tonnes of cargo and 4 million passengers annually.

With major cargo integrators like DHL, UPS, and FedEx having their main UK hubs at East Midlands Airport, it serves as a crucial link between the region and over 180 of the world’s economic powerhouses.

EMA’s managing director Steve Griffiths said: “This report confirms EMA’s status as the UK’s most important express air freight hub, powering seamless trade for the whole of the country. It highlights how some of our unique attributes, including our central location and ability to offer a 24-hour service, allow us to punch well above our weight.

“What’s encouraging is that it spells out the potential for EMA to meet the growing demand for air cargo as London airports, whose cargo operations rely on passenger flights subject to greater restrictions, become congested and reach capacity. This growth in our share of the air cargo market will add significantly to the substantial contribution we already make to the regional and wider economy.”