Air France-KLM Cargo, Delta Air Lines Cargo and Virgin Atlantic Cargo launch their expanded trans-Atlantic joint venture covering a mighty 23 per cent of total capacity on the trade.
The airline partners are promising cargo customers more connections, greater shipment routing flexibility, improved trucking options, aligned services and innovative digital solutions.
The new partnership – which represents 23 per cent of total trans-Atlantic cargo capacity, or more than 600,000 tonnes annually – offers up to 341 peak daily services ‘across the pond’, including 110 nonstop routes with onward connections to 238 cities in North America, 98 in Continental Europe and 16 in the UK.
Customers will be able to leverage an enhanced network built around the airlines’ hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York-JFK, Paris, Seattle and Salt Lake City. It creates convenient nonstop or one-stop connections to every corner of North America, Europe and the UK, giving customers the added confidence of delivery schedules being met by a wide choice of options, the carriers say.
The deal also facilitates greater co-operation between the airlines, focused on delivering service and reliability on both sides of the Atlantic through co-located facilities, joint trucking options, as well as seamless bookings and connected service recovery. The airlines already co-locate at warehouses in key US, UK and European airports, and say they will review opportunities to co-locate further at more airports around the globe.
Adriaan den Heijer, executive vice president of Air France-KLM Cargo says: “We are very excited to welcome Virgin Atlantic Cargo to the successful trans-Atlantic Joint Venture between Air France-KLM Cargo and Delta Cargo.
“The combined network means more choices and value for our customers as we align our services to enable seamless transfers and further streamlining of transport times. This enhanced joint venture offers the most and best trans-Atlantic options ever in the cargo industry.”
The four airlines will leverage their expertise in the transportation of specialised products, including end-to-end GDP and IATA CEIV quality compliance for pharmaceuticals, supported by dedicated teams and facilities across the globe. The JV will allow the airlines to provide customers with a diversified product range to best suit their individual requirements.
“This announcement is just the first step in the journey,” comments Shawn Cole, vice president – Delta Cargo. “Our customers can expect additional benefits as we evolve our partnership further to deliver best-in class customer experience and operational reliability, with differentiated products and services that are tailored and developed to make it easier to do business with the four airlines.”
Customers will be able to book their shipments with knowledgeable local teams and by using new digital solutions designed to reduce duplication and drive efficiencies as a result of greater connectively between the airlines’ systems. Alongside the development of a growing choice of self-service technology options, customers will continue to enjoy the support of co-located customer service centres to enhance their cargo delivery experience.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s managing director, Dominic Kennedy adds: “Our great partnership with Delta has already enriched the benefits we offer to our customers. With our expanded JV with Air France-KLM Cargo, we are even more excited about the benefits we will be bringing for our customers as we work with like-minded partners to deliver greater value across our outstanding trans-Atlantic network.”