AF KLM, Delta and Virgin’s cargo teams hope to benefit from new transatlantic tie up

By Damian Brett

Air France-KLM Cargo, Delta Air Lines Cargo and Virgin Atlantic Cargo are hoping to capitalise on their new joint venture on the transatlantic.

The new partnership, which represents 23% of total transatlantic cargo capacity or more than 600,000 tonnes annually, will enable the airlines to offer 110 nonstop routes with onward connections to 238 cities in North America, 98 in continental Europe and 16 in the UK.

The airlines said that the joint venture would allow them to work together on co-located facilities, joint trucking options as well as bookings and connected service recovery. Service centres will also be co-located.

The airlines already co-locate at warehouses in key US, UK and European airports, and will “review opportunities to co-locate further at more airports around the globe”.

Adriaan den Heijer, executive vice president of Air France-KLM Cargo, said: “We are very excited to welcome Virgin Atlantic Cargo to the successful transatlantic joint venture between Air France-KLM Cargo and Delta Cargo.

“The combined network means more choices and value for our customers as we align our services to enable seamless transfers and further streamlining of transport times. This enhanced joint venture offers the most and best trans-Atlantic options ever in the cargo industry.”

The four airlines said they would also “leverage their expertise in the transportation of specialised products”, including end-to-end GDP and IATA CEIV quality compliance for pharmaceuticals, “supported by dedicated teams and facilities across the globe”.

“This announcement is just the first step in the journey,” said Shawn Cole, vice president – Delta Cargo. “Our customers can expect additional benefits as we evolve our partnership further to deliver best-in class customer experience and operational reliability, with differentiated products and services that are tailored and developed to make it easier to do business with the four airlines.”

Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s managing director, Dominic Kennedy, said: “Our great partnership with Delta has already enriched the benefits we offer to our customers. With our expanded JV with Air France-KLM Cargo, we are even more excited about the benefits we will be bringing for our customers as we work with like-minded partners to deliver greater value across our outstanding trans-Atlantic network.”

The airlines said that customers will be able to book their shipments with local teams and by using new digital solutions will “drive efficiencies as a result of greater connectivity between the airlines’ systems”.

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