Covid restrictions causing bottlenecks, but some air cargo carriers carry on
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Virgin Atlantic is set to increase its cargo-only flying by 60% this January as its operation continues to go from strength to strength. Despite a decrease in passengers travelling due to the UK’s latest lockdown as well as travel restrictions in many destinations, demand to transport cargo remains strong and the airline’s cargo operation has adapted once more to a rapidly changing external environment.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo has increased its capacity on key routes taking the airlines’ cargo-only rotations from 21 up to 33 per week this month – an increase of 60% – keeping global supply chains running and transporting essential goods across the globe. The cargo only flying includes daily flights between London and Brussels, offering seamless and speedy same day European connections for customers.
The increase in scheduled operations comes as Virgin Atlantic Cargo celebrates a historic and record-breaking year in 2020. The cargo business operated 4,000 cargo only flights and also launched 10 new routes. These included Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dublin, Milan, Islamabad, Lahore, San Juan and Xiamen, an unprecedented feat during turbulent operating conditions and demanding trading environments.
Dominic Kennedy, Managing Director at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “The growth in our cargo-only flying this January demonstrates the agility and flexibility of our teams in order to maintain a resilient cargo operation in such dynamic market conditions.
“Despite a decrease in passengers travelling, demand to transport cargo remains strong and we’re delighted to play our part transporting a whole range of goods across the world, keeping vital global supply chains moving.
“We’re thankful for the support of our customers throughout an unprecedented 2020 and want to emphasise we are once again here with a broad cargo destination portfolio and charter capability to support 2021 demand.”
The airline also continues to transport cargo on its 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, San Juan in Puerto Rico and Shanghai. Virgin Atlantic Cargo also offers a dedicated charter service to meet customer needs.