Virgin Atlantic Cargo now offers additional belly capacity to South Africa’s “thriving” air cargo market following the launch of double daily B787-9 passenger flights to Johannesburg.
The additional capacity is also giving a welcome boost to Virgin Atlantic customers in the US, who now have access to additional cargo capacity to South Africa over London, the carrier says.
Virgin is continuing to see strong demand for capacity to and from South Africa following on from positive revenue and tonnage gains on the route in 2017. In the first eight months of this year, US-South Africa volumes have shown the biggest growth, up 8.0 per cent year-on-year, while traffic from Johannesburg is 2.0 per cent higher.
The grow is a result of regular shipments of perishables – including pre-packed fruit salads, vegetables and stone fruits, as well as car parts, computer components, mining equipment and personal effects, Virgin says. The route is also popular for courier traffic and customers moving valuable cargoes.
Ex-UK to South Africa, Virgin is also carrying a wide range of commodities, from fish and foodstuffs, to pharmaceuticals, books and magazines, agricultural spares, electrical components and automotive parts.
Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, comments: “We are experiencing a high level of demand for capacity to and from South Africa, so the launch of a second daily service will go some way to providing the extra space our customers in the UK, US and South Africa need.
“On October 28, our first day of double daily services, both flights operated with full payloads totalling 34 tonnes and we expect this to continue given the broad range of goods moving to and from Johannesburg. This is one of our best-ever years on the route, which Virgin has now served for over 22 years.”