IAG Cargo has chosen Johannesburg as the third route for its new A380 cargo-friendly superjumbo.
The A380, which begins flying to Johannesburg from February 12, 2014, will join the B747-400 that already serves the African route.
South African Rugby star Brian Habana helped announce the route during an event for the carrier.
As a major exporter of flowers and fresh produce with IAG Cargo’s Prioritise and Constant Fresh products, the precision temperature-control facilities onboard the A380 will offer exporters another level of supply chain control, says a statement.
IAG Cargo has optimised its A380 for belly-hold cargo by purchasing two additional ULD positions in the hold, becoming the first carrier in the world to receive an A380 with an improved maximum take-off weight some 12 tonnes heavier than other A380s currently flying, allowing it to carry more cargo.
The aircraft, which is enabled with air conditioning in the forward hold and heating and ventilation in the rear hold, will also be well-suited for the carriage of temperature-sensitive goods, with IAG Cargo able to set and maintain hold temperature to within 1?C accuracy, points out Steve Gunning, managing director.
“The introduction of the A380 to the African market is great news for us. With Africa being one of the world’s largest perishables exporters, anything that introduces greater cold chain management is a big win for our customers.”
Over the next 10 years, IAG Cargo will benefit from a completely overhauled and modernised fleet.
This will see the delivery of 24 B787s, 12 A380s and six B777-300ERs.
Additionally, IAG has ordered 18 A350-1000s and plans to convert options on a further 18 B787s, both subject to shareholder approval.
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