Virgin Atlantic continues to expand short-haul cargo network

By Damian Brett

Virgin Atlantic, which traditionally operates long-haul flights, is continuing to expand its all-cargo short haul network in response to demand.

The carrier yesterday announced that from April 25 it would begin flying a twice-weekly service between Frankfurt and its London Heathrow hub.

The carrier said the flights would utilise 55 tonne capacity B787 aircraft and offer same day connections to and from the US to support machinery parts and healthcare products.

Virgin Atlantic said that it planned to increase the frequency of the service to three times per week from May 1.

“Virgin Atlantic looks forward to supporting strong demand to and from Germany, Europe’s largest economy with vital manufacturing link,” the carrier said.

“Germany’s air trade was worth $316bn in 2020, boasting resilient demand despite the impact of Covid-19 upon business operations.

“The route expects to carry a variety of cargo goods, including machinery parts, healthcare products, chemicals and motor vehicle parts.”

Cargo capacity on the new Virgin Atlantic service will be marketed by Kales Aviation, the airline’s general sales agency in Germany, while Swissport has been awarded the cargo handling contract for export and import shipments.

Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “Virgin Atlantic’s cargo operation continues to grow at pace, and we very much look forward to growing our working relationships with customers in Europe following this latest route launch.

“We’ve chosen Frankfurt as our latest cargo-only service as demand remains healthy and the profile of the business fits so well with our UK and US network. We’re grateful for the support of our customers for our cargo-only scheduled services and charters, and we are excited about the new opportunities Frankfurt presents for our network.”

In the middle of last year, the carrier introduced services to Brussels, Milan and Dublin to cater for cargo demand.

The airline also continues to transport cargo on it scheduled passenger services to destinations including Atlanta, Barbados, Boston, New York JFK, Lagos, Islamabad, Lahore, Los Angeles, Miami and Tel Aviv as well as dedicated cargo only operations to Antigua, Brussels, Chicago, Delhi, Dublin, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Miami, Mumbai and San Juan in Puerto Rico. Virgin Atlantic Cargo also offers a dedicated charter service to meet customer needs. 

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