Christmas is coming as MAG airports help deliver more parcels than ever before

  • The UK’s biggest airports for freighter aircraft report double digit growth in November.
  •  Manchester and London Stansted airports continue to grow passenger numbers, despite Monarch ceasing operations and Ryanair’s cancellation of some planned services




London Stansted

East Midlands



Rolling 12 month total






November 2017 total






November 2017

% change

year on year









London Stansted

East Midlands

November 2017 tonnes




% change

year on year




The UK’s two most important airports for freighter aircraft, East Midlands and London Stansted, have seen record volumes of cargo in November. The increased volumes were driven by the nation tackling its Christmas shopping early, as Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending shifted increasingly online from the high street. Electronics, clothes and beauty products have all been popular imports in November.

MAG’s airports at Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands also all grew their passenger numbers, with East Midlands growing 20%, compared to November 2016 when the airport underwent a programme of weekend runway closures. MAG as a whole served 3.8m passengers in November (+4.1%).

The UK’s leading airport group last week announced a 12.9% increase in interim revenues and also announced the sale of Bournemouth Airport to Rigby Group plc, effective from 5th December.

Andy Cliffe, Managing Director, East Midlands Airport
"The health of air cargo up and down the country is something the Government should be looking to promote in its aviation strategy"
Andy Cliffe, Managing Director, East Midlands Airport

London Stansted Airport’s cargo operation grew 12.3% and East Midlands’s cargo tonnage grew by 29.8%* as new global cargo routes to the Middle East and America, combined with new capacity for express parcels, allowed the two airports to play key roles in delivering the nation’s Christmas shopping.

In the past year new cargo routes at London Stansted have launched with CargologicAir, Saudia and Silk Way West to Mexico and North America, the Middle East and Azerbaijan respectively. New cargo routes at East Midlands include Milan and Madrid.

This, combined with expansion of DHL’s hub facility at East Midlands, means that MAG is projecting a record year for cargo at the UK’s biggest pure cargo airport.

On the passenger side, London Stansted grew 4.8% and East Midlands grew by 20.0%* compared with November last year.

In November, Manchester Airport, grew passenger numbers 1.2%, with numbers negatively impacted by Monarch Airline’s collapse in October which has left some capacity unused during the current winter season. There has been significant interest from other airlines wanting to operate in slots vacated by Monarch for Summer 2018. Flights are already on sale with, Thomas Cook Airlines and TUI, and more are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Andy Cliffe, Managing Director of East Midlands Airport said: “The cargo figures that we are announcing this month show the important role that airports like East Midlands and London Stansted play in delivering our festive goods and presents, as well as exporting our world class manufactured products to customers all across the globe.

“The health of air cargo up and down the country is something the Government should be looking to promote in its aviation strategy, which needs to look at improving connectivity and trade links from all UK airports, not just Heathrow.”


*November 2016 figures at EMA were affected by weekend runway closures