Virgin Atlantic Cargo hopes to capitalise on extra India, US and Africa capacity

By Damian Brett

Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350

Virgin Atlantic’s summer 2020 schedule will give cargo customers more capacity on routes to India, Africa and the US.

The new schedule will see the introduction of a second daily Boeing 787 service to Delhi Indira Gandhi Airport, commencing on March 29, departing from Heathrow in the morning and complementing the airline’s current evening departure.

With the additional daily flight to Delhi, alongside newly-launched daily Mumbai service which commenced last month, summer 2020 will see Virgin Atlantic Cargo “offer more choice to India than ever before to support its thriving import and export markets”.

The airline pointed to statistics showing that India shipped $323.1bn worth of products around the globe in 2018, up 9.2% year-on-year, with the US and UK markets accounting for $51.6bn and $9.8bn of its exports respectively. High volume cargo types include: perishables, pharmaceuticals and courier shipments.

On the transatlantic the airline will launch an additional weekly service to San Francisco, departing every Friday, providing a choice of twice-daily flights between Heathrow and the Golden Gate City.

Cargo customers will also benefit from Johannesburg becoming the first non-US route to debut Virgin Atlantic’s brand new A350 aircraft, with a daily service from March 2020.

By August, Virgin Atlantic’s A350 aircraft will fly to five destinations across its network and all its flights to Africa will be on the new aircraft.

• Johannesburg will debut the A350 with a daily service from March 2020.
• From April 2020, the A350 will fly daily to Los Angeles
• There will be a daily A350 service to San Francisco from May 2020
• There will be a daily A350 service to Lagos from August 2020

Juha Jarvinen, executive vice president commercial at Virgin Atlantic, said: “As we work to achieve our ambition to become the most loved travel company, we’re pleased to announce extra flights to some of our most popular destinations.

“Next year will mark twenty years since Virgin Atlantic started flying to Delhi, and the service continues to grow in popularity for both business and leisure travel. The second daily service from Heathrow is an excellent opportunity to meet customer demand on this route and, coupled with our new service to Mumbai, we’re able to offer even more choice and unrivalled Virgin Atlantic service to customers travelling between the UK and India.”

Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, added: “These new routes and frequencies for summer 2020 are great news for our cargo customers. India, South Africa and Nigeria are very important and growing routes for our cargo business, so our commitment to offer more capacity connecting customers in these countries to their prime UK and US markets will help to open up opportunities for more import and export growth.”

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