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Sat 10 Mar 2018 01:01 AM

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Heathrow raises Dubai route concerns ahead of Brexit

Airport data says Britain's exporters risk being held back by a lack of access to key trading markets including the UAE

Heathrow raises Dubai route concerns ahead of Brexit
(KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

Britain’s exporters risk being held back by a lack of access to key trading markets including the UAE, new data has revealed.

As Britain prepares to leave the EU, the data shows that key routes from Heathrow to Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, Los Angeles, Tokyo Haneda and Dubai are virtually full and unable to accommodate further growth in trade.

The data showed that in 2017, Heathrow handled 1.7 million tonnes of cargo including 73,536 tonnes on the Dubai route, which has very little spare capacity.

Combined, these six routes alone account for nearly 18 percent of Heathrow’s total cargo volumes, the airport said.

It added that the data underscores the importance of expanding Heathrow at pace to ensure that Britain can thrive as an outward looking trading nation after Brexit.

Heathrow is already the UK’s largest port by value – bigger than Felixstowe and Southampton combined – and handled over £106 billion worth of goods last year.

The data said expanding Heathrow will double the airport’s cargo capacity and support up to 40 new long-haul trading links, helping to ensure that British exporters can reach new customers in fast-growing markets around the world.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director expansion, said: “Expanding Heathrow couldn’t be more important for Britain’s future, as we’re already seeing some of our most critical trading routes reach capacity. If we want Britain to thrive as a global trading powerhouse after Brexit, we need to get on with expanding Heathrow now.

“That starts with the Government taking advantage of the consensus in Parliament and scheduling a vote in Parliament before the summer. With new capacity at our nation’s global gateway, we will unlock the trading opportunities that will underpin a prosperous future for all of Britain in the decades to come.”

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