Virgin selects WTA and Swissport for Israeli cargo services

Virgin Atlantic Cargo has awarded contracts to cargo sales agent WTA Aviation and cargo handler Swissport in Israel to support the launch of the airline’s daily flights between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv.

WTA will be responsible for selling the 20 tonnes of daily cargo capacity offered onboard Virgin Atlantic’s Airbus A330-300 flights, which commence on September 25. It hopes to capitalise from the onward connections Virgin can offer to North America.

Meanwhile, Swissport will provide cargo handling services for the airline at its modern 21,000 sq m warehouse terminal at Ben Gurion International Airport, which is equipped with temperature controlled cold and chill rooms as well as dedicated areas for valuable goods, DGR and live animals, as well as technology to optimise cargo build and for shipment tracking.

Swissport already provides cargo handling in Tel Aviv for Virgin Atlantic’s joint venture partner, Delta Cargo, extending the airlines’ co-location programme.

Claire Fallon, Virgin Atlantic’s Regional Sales Manager, said: “We see a fantastic growth opportunity in Israel and have chosen two respected partners who are a perfect fit for Virgin Atlantic. We are confident WTA Aviation and Swissport will help us realise the potential of this exciting new route and deliver the high quality of service every Virgin Atlantic customer deserves and expects. Our extensive network to the US – Israel’s biggest export market – and expertise in handling cargoes such as pharmaceuticals, valuable and express shipments means we have a very strong proposition to offer customers in Israel.”

David Zelnik, CEO & Owner of WTA Aviation, commented: “The UK and US are such important and growing markets for companies in Israel so there is already great excitement about the connections Virgin Atlantic is going to offer as well as for the great customer service the airline is so well-known for. The Israeli economy is extremely buoyant and exporters are continually looking for new opportunities so the timing of Virgin Atlantic’s new daily services is perfect. We already have customers wanting to use this additional cargo capacity.”

Kevin Hillyard, the airline’s Head of Regional Cargo Operations International, stated: “We chose Swissport as they have a modern facility and use technologies which support real-time tracking of shipments and flight build as well as the ability to fully support Virgin Atlantic’s product range. The opportunity to co-locate with Delta Cargo was another significant factor because it further enhances the strength of our JV network partnership.”

“It is an honour to be chosen by Virgin Atlantic Cargo to provide cargo handling services in Tel Aviv and we are committed to high quality, service and success. We are looking forward to a long and successful relationship and hoping to contribute and strive for great results in the coming years,” added Uri Shochat, CEO of Swissport Israel.

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