Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will operate more than 90 cargo-only flights per week in May as it helps customers reopen vital trade lanes connecting the UK with prime freight markets in the USA, Hong Kong and China, India, Israel and South Africa.
The airline will also operate cargo-only flights through Dublin for the first time, enabling Ireland’s medical technology, electronics and other industries to achieve same-day connections to New York JFK, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv and Johannesburg. Services will be operated using the airline’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which can carry up to 55 tonnes of cargo.
The May flying programme includes:
• 17 flights a week to/from JFK
• 9 flights a week to/from LA
• Twice-weekly services from JFK and LAX to Dublin
• Twice-weekly departures from Dublin to London
• Daily flights to/from Shanghai
• 4 x weekly services to/from Hong Kong
• Twice weekly flights to/from Tel Aviv
• Three services a week to/from Johannesburg
• Resumption of two weekly flights to/from Mumbai
With 14 aircraft at its disposal for cargo-only operations, including four A350s capable of carrying up to 49 tonnes of goods, Virgin Atlantic will also increase its ability to offer exclusive cargo charters, which currently average 13 flights per week.
Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo said, “I am amazingly proud of our cargo team and our colleagues across the airline who have enabled us to completely re-engineer our cargo business into a successful freight-only operation. This means we’ve been able to help our customers re-establish trade routes to and from many of their major international markets. I also want to thank dnata, our handling partner in London, for the great work its team is doing to help us accelerate the volume of cargo we are carrying and to expedite connections over our London hub.
“In the current operating environment, we have the ability to increase our cargo-only services quickly and to flex up our schedules in line with demand. We also expect an increase in customers seeking cargo charters, which we are ready and able to support,” he added. “We want to play a leading role in getting Britain doing business again as the country looks to re-energise the UK economy.”