Virgin Atlantic will commence new daily flights between London Heathrow (LHR) and Tel Aviv (TLV) from 25 September, providing more import and export opportunities on its A330-300 flights with 20 tonnes of capacity on each service.
Virgin says the route will offer a fast cargo service from Tel Aviv for goods such as high value precious stones, fresh produce, high-tech and electrical products, pharmaceutical and express shipments to prime markets in the UK and US, and offer more choice for companies exporting a wide range of cargoes to Israel.
“This is a really exciting new route for us and plays to our strengths in terms of quick connections to and from US and our proven expertise in carrying the major types of products moving in and out of Israel,” says Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo.
“We know customers will welcome not only the choice of more capacity but also the opportunity to benefit from our network reach and service levels. We expect cargo to make a significant contribution to the success of the route,” he adds.
The airline’s decision to extend its network to Israel will help meet growing demand for cargo capacity, with total volumes into Israel up by some 17 per cent in 2018.
Last year saw particularly strong growth in shipments of pharmaceuticals, perishables and high-tech cargo to Tel Aviv, says Virgin, which rose 35, 7.0 and 5.0 per cent respectively, year-on-year according to market data.
Saying the new service promises to be a strong cargo route, Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO comments: “2019 marks the start of a new phase of growth for Virgin Atlantic as we work to achieve our ambition to become the most loved travel company. Tel Aviv represents a fantastic opportunity for us – Israel’s economy is booming and as one of the world’s leading tech hubs we’re anticipating many business travellers and entrepreneurs flying between Tel Aviv and the UK.
We also see a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Tel Aviv market, using the strength of our trans-Atlantic Joint Venture with Delta to offer customers from Tel Aviv a wide range of US destinations connecting through London Heathrow including New York and San Francisco. It also promises to be a strong route for cargo.”