Turkish Airlines is the latest major airline to join London Stansted Airport’s growing cargo operation when it begins new services to Istanbul today (Oct 29).
The airline joins international heavyweights that include China Southern Airlines and Qatar Airways as the fifth carrier to be added to the cargo network since MAG (Manchester Airports Group) took over ownership of Stansted in March 2013.
The upsurge in operators has seen the airport’s cargo tonnage rise in the past 12 months by 9.5% to lift the annual total to over 235,000 tonnes.
The new Istanbul link is Turkish Airlines’ first UK all-cargo flight for six years and will see an Airbus A310 fly a weekly service to Stansted from Istanbul’s Ataturk airport via Amsterdam.
Conan Busby, MAG Cargo Business Development Manager, said:
“We're delighted that Turkish Airlines has selected the modern, world class cargo facilities at Stansted from which to operate their first UK freight services for six years. Stansted is one of the largest cargo hubs in Britain with more than £9.5bn worth of cargo transported every year.
“With spare runway capacity to support significant growth and additional economic activity, MAG‘s ambition is to develop Stansted into the premier scheduled freighter airport for the UK. The airport sits at the heart of the London-Stansted-Cambridge growth corridor, and with the region booming and London’s economic activity shifting towards the east, Stansted is ideally placed to support businesses trading internationally and looking to compete in the global market place.”
The new link has also been welcomed by regional business organisations. David Rooke, Inward Investment Manager for INVEST Essex, said:
“Turkey, as a fast-growing market in its own right together with onward global connections is an important and welcome new destination for London Stansted’s cargo offer. It’s great to see the airport, under MAG ownership, developing new links to enhance its international reach for the business community. The London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor is the most exciting and dynamic business area in the UK and being able to distribute products globally is vitally important to allow companies in the region to grow and compete in the global market place.”
Stansted is the busiest for all-freighter traffic among the London airports and transports thousands of tonnes of textiles, fruit and vegetables, electronics, pharmaceuticals, mail, horses and Formula One equipment on 11,000 annual flights to destinations in nearly every continent.