Delta and Virgin to move cargo handling to new dnata Heathrow facility
17 / 01 / 2019
Partner airlines Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo will move their handling operations at London Heathrow to the new purpose-built dnata City East.
The move to the new facility is scheduled for the second half of 2019 and will double the size of Virgin and Delta’s cargo operation at Heathrow to 335,000 sq ft.
Customers will benefit from "greater automation and faster truck and cargo handling times", the airlines said.
It would also support their "growing cargo businesses, enhances their trans-Atlantic partnership for customers, and future-proofs the joint venture’s position in the UK market".
Virgin and Delta’s cargo operations have been combined under a one-roof strategy in the UK since June 2016.
They also share cargo facilities at major US gateways, notably Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New York, Orlando, and Washington Dulles.
The new dnata facility will deliver the "highest levels of service, security and automation".
"Inside the warehouse, investments in technology will enable staff using handheld devices to efficiently manage the flow of cargo, while the double-train ETV system will increase storage to 245 positions for pallets and containers," the airlines explained.
"Customer trucks arriving at the facility will benefit from a new door management system, which enables drivers to complete paperwork at the gatehouse on arrival without leaving their vehicles and to then be immediately assigned to one of the facility’s 18 cargo doors."
The centre will also offer a dedicated perishables zone and an enlarged AVI centre for live animals.
Tania Boyes, director – cargo operations at Virgin Atlantic, said: “At a time when Virgin Atlantic is achieving record volumes, this gives us a platform for long-term growth. We also wish to acknowledge dnata’s foresight in working with us to make this possible.”