Virgin Atlantic says its new flying programme for summer 2020 will give cargo customers more capacity on prime routes to India, Africa and the US.
The new schedule will see the introduction of a second daily B787 service to Delhi Indira Gandhi Airport (DEL), commencing on 29 March, departing from Heathrow (LHR) in the morning and complementing the airline’s current evening departure.
With the additional daily flight to Delhi, alongside newly-launched daily Mumbai (BOM) service which commenced last month, summer 2020 will see Virgin Atlantic Cargo offer more choice to India than ever before to support its thriving import and export markets.
India shipped USD 323.1 billion worth of products around the globe in 2018, up 9.2 per cent year-on-year, with the US and UK markets accounting for USD 51.6 billion and USD 9.8 billion of its exports respectively. Virgin Atlantic’s B787-9 services offer up to 26 tonnes of cargo capacity on every flight, which from India includes high volumes of perishables, pharmaceuticals and courier shipments.
Transatlantic customers – including those with high volumes of e-commerce traffic – will also gain from the launch of an additional weekly service to San Francisco, departing every Friday, providing a choice of twice-daily flights between Heathrow and SFO.
Cargo customers will also benefit from Johannesburg becoming the first non-US route to debut Virgin Atlantic’s brand new A350-1000 aircraft, with a daily service from March 2020. The aircraft is already significantly boosting cargo capacity on its current routing between London and New York (JFK), with its next services earmarked for Los Angeles (LAX), followed by San Francisco and Lagos (LOS).
By August, Virgin Atlantic’s A350-1000 aircraft will fly to five destinations across its network and all its flights to Africa will be on the new aircraft. This “fantastic cargo aircraft”, as Virgin describes it, will be debuted as follows:
- Johannesburg will debut the A350 with a daily service from March 2020;
- From April 2020, the A350 will fly daily to Los Angeles;
- There will be a daily A350 service to San Francisco from May 2020;
- There will be a daily A350 service to Lagos from August 2020.
Juha Jarvinen, EVP Commercial at Virgin Atlantic, says: “As we work to achieve our ambition to become the most loved travel company, we’re pleased to announce extra flights to some of our most popular destinations. Next year will mark twenty years since Virgin Atlantic started flying to Delhi, and the service continues to grow in popularity for both business and leisure travel.
“The second daily service from Heathrow is an excellent opportunity to meet customer demand on this route and, coupled with our new service to Mumbai, we’re able to offer even more choice and unrivalled Virgin Atlantic service to customers travelling between the UK and India,” Jarvinen says.
Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, adds: “These new routes and frequencies for summer 2020 are great news for our cargo customers. India, South Africa and Nigeria are very important and growing routes for our cargo business, so our commitment to offer more capacity connecting customers in these countries to their prime UK and US markets will help to open up opportunities for more import and export growth.”