LONDON – In the wake of the unique situation that the UK and the rest of the world are in, airports such as East Midlands Airport (EMA) have had to find ways of innovating as well as adapting to the new conditions of the industry.
Back in January, AviationSource got to sit down with the airport’s Head of Cargo Stephen Harvey as well as speak to the Head of Media at East Midlands Airport, Ioan Reed-Aspley to discuss the direction the airport is taking currently.
JF: Stephen and Ioan. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. My first question is with the UK being out of the European Union, how has this changed the airport’s strategy towards cargo?
SH: The interesting part about East Midlands is really it’s global. We are global integrators. So prior to the 1st of January, over 50% of our business doesn’t have any EU involvement. So in other words, it had to enter customs anyway. So with the new regulations that had to be adhered to on January 1st, it never made that much of a difference as we were doing those things already.
This means that the level of investment placed in additional resources required to ensure that the cargo was delivered was still there. The feedback is that it is business as usual, and the customers that we work with and deal with are not seeing any big delays in delivering goods or processing them et cetera.
So with there being no major disruption to the network so far, there is no cause for concern and may not require a change in strategy as may have been originally anticipated.
JF: With that in mind, it remains clear that the airport is just as busy on the cargo front, and has therefore increased with the demand provided by the global pandemic?
SH: With the increasing movements that we have seen, we have seen a reduction in air cargo capacity that is normally supplied by the passenger flights. If we take Asia into Europe as an example, over 80% of the cargo capacity was removed from the market in the early stages of the pandemic, meaning that capacity had to go somewhere.