Air Cargo Quarterly
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Johannesburg aircraft upgrade provides a welcome boost for Virgin Atlantic Cargo
The introduction of Airbus A340-600 flights between London and Johannesburg during South Africa’s peak season has provided a welcome boost in capacity for Virgin Atlantic Cargo on one of its most in-demand routes.Switching from a Boeing 747 to the A340-600 operation has given the airline’s cargo division over four tonnes of extra capacity on each of its daily flights.
Nick Jones, Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s Head of Sales, said: ‘Southbound to Johannesburg, the year so far has been very good, even though the market overall is a little quieter. From South Africa, heavy rains have impacted certain perishable traffic but we continue to attract a good level of general cargo such as automotive parts, mining equipment and pharmaceuticals. The extra capacity offered by the Airbus has enabled us to support customers moving goods to the UK, Europe and the United States.
‘Our reputation for fast connection times and moving cargo as booked through London to the United States means we gain a lot of support from customers in South Africa to destinations such as New York and Chicago as well as to Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco and Boston. We have also been boosted by our trucking operations between the UK and north west Europe, which Virgin Atlantic customers see as a reliable way to reach France, Germany and the Benelux countries.’
Virgin Atlantic says the A340-600 is set to remain on the Johannesburg route throughout the 2013/14 flying program.
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