Virgin Atlantic Cargo is to launch a second daily service between London and Johannesburg in October, creating additional cargo capacity to and from South Africa.
Commencing 28 October 2018, the additional daily frequency will be operated by one of the airline's Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which can carry up to 24 tonnes of cargo. The new service will provide a welcome boost for customers who contributed to Virgin Atlantic's year-on-year growth in cargo volumes in 2017. The airline saw a 5% growth in business to South Africa and a 4% rise in tonnage ex Johannesburg.
In April, Virgin Atlantic Cargo will also be opening a local Contact Centre in Johannesburg to support their customers in South Africa.
Steve Buckerfield, Director, Sales at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: "Virgin has been serving the Johannesburg market for 22 years and we continue to receive outstanding customer support. 2017 was a particularly strong year for both north and southbound cargo volumes, so the addition of a second daily frequency is great news for us and our customers."
In addition to general cargo, the airline has seen an increase in the volume of courier and express business from the U.S. and the UK to South Africa, driven by ecommerce, as well as regular shipments of cars. Northbound traffic includes high volumes of perishables for the UK market as well as general cargo.
Laurn Baldwin, the airline's Regional Sales Manager in Johannesburg, added: "News of this additional capacity could not be coming at a better time and reinforces our commitment to the South African market. Our decision to open a dedicated Contact Centre in Johannesburg is also based on having listened to the requirements of our customers, who value the presence of a local team. I am confident these positive developments, alongside our commitment to providing great customer service, will help us deliver another fantastic year for cargo."