The enormous reliance on online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic combined with a reduction in passenger flights has led to significant growth in air freight traffic.
Traffic between the US and East Midlands Airport (EMA) increased by 60 flights, with the volume of goods transported to and from JFK in New York and the UK hub increasing 120 percent in July and August.
The shift towards dedicated air cargo operations is also being driven by the lack of traditional belly cargo operations where goods are carried in the hold of passenger aircraft.
As many airlines have scaled back long-haul passenger operations in recent months, the availability of belly hold capacity in key markets, particularly on popular routes to the United States, has decreased significantly.
These volumes exceed the times normally expected in the run-up to Christmas, which is traditionally the busiest time of the year for air and express cargo airlines.
East Midlands Airport, owned by the Manchester Airports Group, is the UK’s largest air cargo operator.
Aboudy Nasser, Director of Group Aviation, said: “In recent months, the way we live our lives has changed seismically.
“While much has changed in the changes in the way people travel, behind the scenes our airports have taken on the responsibility of helping the logistics sector adapt to the increasing demand for dedicated air freight and changes in the way goods are transported support.
“We look forward to continuing our work in this important sector as it prepares for the ever-increasing demand over the coming months.”