High Sheriff’s praise for EMA’s part in a happy Christmas


East Midlands Airport’s massive cargo operation is in full swing in the run-up to Christmas – and Leicestershire’s High Sheriff visited to thank staff working during the busy festive season.


Henrietta Chubb came to EMA last night (December 7) to witness the hive of activity it becomes especially at this time of year and to learn more about the crucial role it plays in powering UK trade and its importance for Leicestershire and the East Midlands region

EMA is home to the UK’s largest pure air cargo operation which links the region and its businesses to 185 of the world’s largest cities and handles more than 400,000 tonnes of goods a year. Ahead of the Christmas period, this equates to around one million packages a night as the demand for e-commerce and next-day delivery of gifts ramps up. The EMA operation is geared up to handle everything from household items, personal electronic devices and clothing to luxury cars, medical supplies and manufactured components.  

During her visit, Mrs Chubb saw some of the major logistics firms based at the airport, including DHL, UPS, FedEx and Royal Mail, handling goods on and off planes before they complete their journeys by rail or road. She heard how the airport’s position in central England and a stone’s throw from the motorway network means that it’s within a four-hour lorry drive of 90% of the population of England and Wales. This gives it a strategic advantage over other airports which often rely on the belly holds of passenger aircraft to carry cargo, rather than the pure freight aircraft operating through EMA.

Mrs Chubb was told how EMA serves the needs of a significant cluster of businesses around the airport in the advance manufacturing, aerospace, healthcare pharmaceuticals and automotive sectors. This helps EMA to contribute around £443m GVA to the regional economy and to support the continued presence of a fifth of the top 500 corporates in the East Midlands.

High Sheriff of Leicestershire Mrs Chubb JP said: “It was fascinating to see the scale and speed of the cargo operation at East Midlands Airport. I was interested and proud to hear about its national significance and the pivotal role it plays in supporting many businesses based in Leicestershire and learning about its important role within the East Midland region.

“I would like to thank all those who work throughout the night at the airport to keep the wheels of industry turning, especially at Christmas when the busy schedule is even more hectic delivering presents to everyone.”

EMA’s Head of Corporate Affairs Ioan Reed-Aspley said: “I was pleased to show Mrs Chubb our impressive cargo operation in full swing last night, with more people than ever relying on next-day delivery of items from around the world at this time of year. I explained that if you order gifts for your loved ones for next day delivery, there’s a good chance they will come through here.

“It clearly demonstrates the vital role we play in powering UK trade, with unparalleled connections to the world’s largest cities. Our location in central England and the presence of major businesses on our doorstep reliant on getting goods and parts to and from all corners of the globe means we are an asset of national significance.”