New cargo operation takes off at East Midlands Airport

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A new cargo airline has started operating from East Midlands Airport (EMA), the UK’s largest pure air freight hub.

British operator One Air runs flights between Europe and China/Hong Kong and has a permit to operate cargo charter flights between the US and UK. It launched last year and is growing its operations, looking to expand its flights to Hong Kong into a daily operation.

One Air’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft has already been spotted in the skies above EMA since its first flight into East Midlands arrived from Hong Kong over Easter with a 105-tonne payload.

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The central UK airport will now be a regular origin and destination point for One Air’s services connecting Asia and Europe as well as for ad hoc global charter services. The new addition to EMA’s cargo operation bolsters what is already the UK’s most important express air freight hub.

One Air's 747-400 aircraft at EMAOne Air's 747-400 aircraft at EMA
One Air's 747-400 aircraft at EMA

EMA offers one-stop connections to 185 of the world’s largest cities, including New York, Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris, and Mumbai, with DHL, UPS and Fedex all having their major UK hubs on site.

The airport handles the equivalent of more than one million packages every night, and its cargo operation provides support to regional businesses, including those in the advanced manufacturing, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, and automotive sectors.

EMA’s commercial director Chris Lane said: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome One Air to East Midlands Airport. They bolster what is already a highly successful, nationally significant cargo operation which benefits from a strategic central location, fewer restrictions than many other airports, and a team who are totally dedicated to providing a top-class service.

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“We hope this is the start of a long-standing partnership with One Air to help us continue to provide seamless trade that powers the UK.”

One Air’s chief operating officer Chris Hope said: “East Midlands Airport has a lot of important plus points which make it attractive for all-cargo operations, including the availability of slots and fewer restrictions around night flying compared to other airports.

“EMA also has a very understanding and progressive attitude towards freighter operators. As a growing British airline, we look forward to establishing our presence at EMA and supporting our freight forwarding, logistics and charter clients moving goods to and from the UK.”

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