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Air freight link added to UK’s largest cargo airport

British exporters buoyed as AirBridgeCargo (ABC) launch twice-weekly flights from Heathrow to its international network at Moscow hub.

After expanding its operations in both the US and south-east Asia earlier this year, ABC have now turned to Europe as they continue to add to the air freight services.

With airports in Houston, Seattle and Phnom Penh in Cambodia all seeing further freight flights added to their respective flight plans, Heathrow has become the latest international hub to be boosted by the expanding ABC.

Heathrow, the UK’s largest cargo airport, becomes AirBridgeCargo’s 14th European service destination, while the Boeing 747 service is a rare ‘all-cargo’ addition for the West London airport.

Despite being the UK’s main air freight forwarding base, capacity remains increasingly restricted due to the high demand in favourable landing slot times.

But having recently received UK government backing for its long-heralded expansion, Heathrow said it would be able to open up 40 destinations and almost double cargo capacity upon completion of the planned third runway.

The airport is investing £180 million over the next 15 years to help British exporters by improving its cargo infrastructure. The investments will fund the storage of specialist pharmaceuticals as well as reducing the average processing time of cargo by up to four hours.

And Nick Platts, head of cargo at the airport said: “We are pleased to welcome AirBridgeCargo Airlines to Heathrow. New cargo partners like ABC, along with our plans for expansion at Heathrow, will allow us to increase our cargo capacity and keep the UK open to business around the world.”

“It will certainly be welcomed by British exporters, which currently face a shortage of space in aircraft holds going to long-haul destinations.”

The new service could see up to as much as 200 tonnes of further good exported each week, a move welcomed by senior officials at ABC.

Robert van de Weg, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Volga-Dnepr Group, AirBridgeCargo’s parent company, said: “The introduction of London Heathrow services is an important step for us and extends the number of delivery solutions we can offer our worldwide customers.

“Europe, together with China, has been our prime market since the very first day of our operations 12 years ago and it continues to support our strong growth performance.”

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