Opening new air cargo avenues

Singapore freight forwarders – Star Concord
18-Sep-2023

Virgin Atlantic Cargo is embarking on a journey of strategic expansion, forging impactful partnerships and introducing new routes that promise to redefine cargo transportation and reinforce the airline’s commitment to environmental sustainability. 

Working hand in hand

Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s partnership with Delta Air Lines isn’t just about collaboration; it’s a dynamic synergy that enhances cargo routes across North America. 

“We have a leading transatlantic presence with our aligned handling and commitment to customers,” Phil Wardlaw, Managing Director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said. 

This partnership offers customers a seamless experience, connecting trade flows globally. Additionally, the alliance extends to large project moves, where the combined capacity of both airlines addresses customer demands that surpass individual carrier capabilities. 

“We work together to offer customers solutions… allowing the customer to use one point of contact,” Wardlaw added.

Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s expansion into South America, particularly the daily flight from London Heathrow to São Paulo, presents an array of opportunities for trade between the UK and Brazil. 

“Brazil’s position of being the number one import and export country in South America will help make São Paulo a popular cargo route,” Wardlaw shared. 

The route is expected to facilitate shipments of car parts, pharmaceuticals, food, and agricultural products, thus contributing to the substantial trade volume between the two countries, which stands at £7.7 billion annually.

Efficiency redefined

Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s expansion into new routes brings fresh opportunities for companies engaged in various industries. The Manchester to Las Vegas route, for instance, has a unique appeal. 

“Our new Manchester to Las Vegas route enables us to enhance our capacity to and from the West Coast via a robust trucking network to connect to the end destination,” Wardlaw explained. 

While Las Vegas may not be a conventional cargo lane, it offers unparalleled flexibility. The route serves as a conduit for tech traffic and fruit shipments between the north of England and the west coast. 

“We transport a variety of goods, including perishables, cars, e-commerce, and Pharma to the west coast,” Wardlaw added, highlighting the diverse cargo possibilities. “Customers have a choice of how they route their cargo to achieve the right rate and handling for their goods.”

Balancing services

Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s strategic expansion goes beyond cargo; it supports the broader economy. 

“The US represents 11% of all UK inbound tourism… increasing its seat offering from Manchester by more than 20% year-on-year,” Wardlaw explained. 

This expansion ensures a harmonious balance between passenger and cargo services, thus contributing to economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. Furthermore, the transatlantic relationship remains pivotal for the UK economy. 

By offering efficient cargo services and additional US capacity from the north of the UK, Virgin Atlantic Cargo plays a pivotal role in fostering new opportunities for companies engaged in imports and exports.

Innovative growth

Virgin Atlantic’s expansion into Bengaluru, a burgeoning tech hub and corporate centre, signifies the airline’s commitment to fulfilling the region’s transportation needs. 

“As well as flying customers, Virgin Atlantic will offer a fast, efficient cargo service with 20 tonnes available on each flight,” Wardlaw stated. 

This move aligns with the city’s industrial prominence, accommodating the transportation of goods like fashion, pharmaceuticals, and tech between prime markets in the UK, US, and India.

“We’re looking forward to expanding our offering in India, as the rapidly growing city of Bengaluru represents an incredibly exciting opportunity for us as we offer increased capacity into this growing market,” he continued. 

Further to Bengaluru, Virgin Atlantic recently announced its return to Dubai, operating seasonally from October through to March four times a week, with 20 tonnes of cargo capacity on each flight.

This fast cargo service offers customers another choice of carrier to export and import goods such as fresh produce and high-tech products between the Middle East and prime markets in the UK and the US. 

With its customers at the heart of everything they do, Virgin Atlantic Cargo is committed to offering the best possible service through their people and new technology, to offer more choice and greater flexibility.

“We also have new flights to São Paulo, Brazil. The exciting new route will fly daily from 13 May 2024. Brazil’s position as the number one import and export country in South America makes São Paulo a popular cargo route,” Wardlaw said. 

“With multiple tonnes of capacity each day, we expect to carry regular shipments of car parts, pharmaceuticals, food, and agricultural products, contributing to £7.7 billion in annual trade between the two countries.”

Further to the announcement of these new routes, the airline’s seasonal winter service to Cape Town will be taking to the skies once again from 28 October 2023 to 30 March 2024. This is another exciting opportunity for Virgin Atlantic Cargo as we partner with a new Ground Handling Agent (GHA).

Following a recently successful transition to Menzies in Johannesburg, they decided to also instate them as our GHA in Cape Town.

With a state-of-the-art handling capability at its facility, Menzies has a thoughtfully designed warehouse enabling cargo to efficiently flow through the warehouse, which will support the business as they continue to enhance their offering in South Africa.

 

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Author: Edward Hardy