Virgin Atlantic Cargo reports it carried 33 per cent more cargo from Dubai in the first half of 2015.
The carrier says additional US routes and frequencies and more traffic due to the West Coast port disruptions boosted volumes. For the six months ending 30 June, the airline carried 2,400 tonnes, compared to the 1,800 tonnes in the same period a year ago. Strong increases were seen in cargo volumes destined for London as well as to the US.
The carrier explains that its additional daily frequency to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and the launch of a new bellyhold Atlanta route both contributed significantly to the increase.
Virgin Atlantic senior vice president for cargo, John Lloyd, says: “Given the intense level of competition in the region, our performance from Dubai in the opening six months of 2015 is very encouraging. Our increased capacity to the US has made a big difference and was particularly important during this period as customers looked for alternative routes into the US to avoid the port disruptions there. We have also seen improvements in our service levels this year after they were impacted towards the end of 2014 during our ground handler’s relocation in Dubai.”
Lloyd adds that his airline hopes to maintain this performance for the rest of 2015. Virgin Atlantic commenced operations from Dubai nine years ago and its daily Airbus A330-300 flights have 20 tonnes of cargo capacity. Access to Virgin Atlantic’s 11 US bellyhold destinations from London is popular with customers moving goods from Dubai, as well as the airline’s trucking services to other key cities across North America.
In August 2014, Virgin Atlantic awarded a new general sales agent contract to Globe Air Cargo in Dubai to market the airline’s freight and courier express services. This move was aimed at simplifying freight and courier express sales for customers in the United Arab Emirates and take advantage of the Dubai market’s strong growth forecast.