£8.6bn of goods exported from Northern Ireland via Heathrow says new study – The Irish News

THE Northern Ireland economy benefitted from a £400 million spend by visitors who travelled to the region via London’s Heathrow Airport, a new report shows.
And the study, using research by consultancy Frontier Economics, also shows that £8.6 billion worth of goods was exported from the north via Heathrow pre-pandemic, supplying high-value markets across the world.
The report – ‘Heathrow: Sustainable Growth, Global Connectivity’ – charts the part the UK’s hub airport plays in the aviation sector’s £12 billion annual boost to the British economy.
Using Heathrow connect local communities and businesses to a network of 222 destinations across 86 countries spanning the globe.
Some 81 million passengers and £188 billion worth of cargo a year passed through Heathrow before the pandemic, and for this latest report researchers visited a number of sites this summer which rely on the UK’s only hub airport to access global markets.
They include Premier Packaging Solutions in Newtownards, which specialises in quality bespoke and plain, printed packaging for various sectors, including the hospitality and wholesale industries.
Frequent and reliable links to Heathrow have been crucial for the company’s success, and as a result Premier Packaging has grown it international exports with the possibility to expand into Australasian and African markets.
The report also shows that Heathrow and the aviation industry plays a significant role in supporting businesses with access to global markets and creating jobs in Northern Ireland, with:
· About 300,000 passengers flying between Northern Ireland and Heathrow each year; and
· Business passengers flying one-stop connection to/from Northern Ireland via Heathrow generated more than £120m in trade and investment in 2019.
Mark McMahon, founder and director of Premier Packaging Solutions, said: “Heathrow’s success is important to us because it gives us the opportunity to get our products worldwide. We sell in places like India, Malaysia; it all goes through Heathrow. Culturally, it is important to our business.”
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Aviation is a force for good in the world, boosting the UK’s regional economies and lifting millions out of poverty through trade and tourism.
“But these social and economic benefits cannot come at any cost. Climate change is an existential threat to aviation and the planet and our industry must play its part by taking fossil fuel carbon out of flying. This is so that regional economies like Northern Ireland can continue to benefit from Heathrow and the aviation sector.”
The publication of the new report follows the launch in early 2022 of the Heathrow 2.0: Connecting People and Planet strategy.
It sets out how the airport is driving forward net zero aviation and ensuring the local area remains a great place to live and work, including ambitious new actions and plans on net zero, air quality, noise pollution and waste.
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