What are the top 5 UK exports to India via Heathrow? Find out


By Heathrow

Published 8th November 2016

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Turbojets, helicopter parts and platinum are among the biggest UK exports to India via Heathrow, the UK’s biggest port by value, new statistics have revealed. The numbers have been revealed as UK Prime Minister Theresa May completes a trade mission to India, having departed from Heathrow yesterday.

Exports to India from the UK were worth £3,910.9 million in 2015 with 35% of those travelling via Heathrow! In total £1,383m worth of UK exports travelled to India via Heathrow last year.

Silver, turbojets and aeroplane/helicopter parts were the top 3 in terms of value, whilst high powered turbojets (93%) and platinum (99%) via the airport accounted for well over 90% of the UK’s total for those products.

The statistics further highlight the importance of Heathrow to the UK’s trading strength, with 29% of the UK’s non-EU exports go via the airport each year. Taking into account all imports and exports via the airport,  over £117.9bn of UK trade was via Heathrow in 2015 – this is more than Felixstowe (£50.3bn) and Southampton (£51.3bn), the UK’s two biggest shipping ports, combined!

The top 5 exports to India via Heathrow in 2015 were:

  • Silver, unwrought or in semi-manufactured forms, or in powder form (HS7106 ) – £233.3m
  • High thrust turbojets – £157.1m
  • Parts of aeroplanes or helicopters – £62.7m
  • Parts of turbojets or turbopropellers – £59.8m
  • Platinum – £59.8m

In terms of imports, Heathrow welcomed 18% of the UK’s total from India last year year – worth £1,105m. Time sensitive pharmaceuticals (£51m) were among the top 5 imports via Heathrow alongside jewellery, turbojets, and diamonds.

The top 5 imports by value were:

  • Articles of jewellery and parts thereof – £188m
  • High powered Turbojets – £118.4
  • Diamonds, whether or not worked, but not mounted or set – £73.8m
  • Medicaments – Pharmaceuticals for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes in measured doses – £51m
  • Parts of turbojets or turbopropellers – £33.3m

The value of India to the UK economy

The Indian diaspora plays a vital role in the UK’s national life with approximately 1.5 million people of Indian origin in the UK and Indian companies currently employing over 100,000 people in the UK. India is now our second largest international job creator, with 7,105 new jobs in Britain in the past year.

Heathrow Airport, Air India aircraft coming in to land, February 2014.

Over 30 British businesses have joined the Prime Minister on the current trade mission and it’s estimated that the new UK-India Urban partnership is set to unlock opportunities worth £2bn.

Source: UK Government

How do Heathrow/India passenger numbers compare to the rest of Europe?

Over 2.3 million passengers travel between India and Heathrow each year including 1 million travelling to and from Delhi alone in the 12 months between September 2015 and August 2016.

This number is more than double that between Frankfurt Airport (1.042m) and India , over 3 times Paris Charles De Gaulle (690,000), and almost 6 times more than those travelling via Amsterdam Schiphol (347,000) – in the same period.

Heathrow is connected to 7 cities in India, more than each of these other airports, with connections to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengalaru, Amritsar and Ahmedabad. By contrast FRA has 5 city connections, CDG 4, and AMS just 2.

With expansion, other growing cities in India such as Goa, Kochi, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram could be connected to the UK via Heathrow.

NOTE: “High thrust tubojets refers to the item category “Turbojets of a thrust > 132kN”. Full data and calculations can be found, here.

UPDATE (9 Feb 2017): UK Government announces deal with India to boost tourism and trade

The UK and India have today (9 February 2017) agreed to ease restrictions on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries, following successful talks in India this week.

Limits on flights from key Indian cities including Chennai and Kolkata have been scrapped, allowing for a greater range of flights for passengers while providing a boost to trade and tourism for the UK and India. Building new links with important trading partners is a key part of the government’s plans for a Global Britain, opening up new export markets and creating jobs and economic growth.

With about 2.5 million passengers flying direct between the UK and India each year, and 88 scheduled services per week in each direction between the two countries, the agreement today will open up even more routes and opportunities.

Tourism from India makes an important contribution to the UK economy. In 2015, there were 422,000 visits from India to the UK, bringing more than £433 million to the economy.

The agreement was formally signed during a visit to India by Lord Ahmad, where he led a delegation of British companies for the 2017 CAPA India Aviation Summit. The Cabinet Minister of Civil Aviation, Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju, signed on behalf of India.

Read the full UK Government release, here.


By Heathrow

Published 8th November 2016