Booming e-commerce volumes from China and strong northbound cargo demand means that Virgin Atlantic Cargo is confident that daily Sydney – Hong Kong services will get off to a flying start on 2 July.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo will be marketing the cargo space on Virgin Australia’s Airbus A330 flights under the international long-haul sales and management agreement between the two airlines.
Following a positive start to 2018 for existing services from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Los Angeles and its Melbourne – Los Angeles and Melbourne – Hong Kong routes, Virgin Atlantic Cargo says customers will welcome the prospects of additional capacity on a prime route to and from Greater China.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo managing director, Dominic Kennedy says: “Sydney-Hong Kong is a route we know very well having operated it ourselves until mid-2014 so we are delighted to be back in this market and able to offer customers more choice on a route that generates high volumes in both directions.
“The big shift in the market since 2014 is the significant rise of e-commerce volumes driven by the growth of online shopping in Australia and China. The launch of this important new route is coming at a prime time for air cargo capacity demand to and from Australia.”
The A330 flights from Australia offer 15 to 20 tonnes of cargo capacity, though Virgin achieved a record 25 tonnes on a single flight from Melbourne earlier this year.
E-commerce shipments from China to Australia have boosted load factors from Hong Kong to Melbourne to close to 90 per cent and Virgin expects to see similar volumes into Sydney.
Regular cargo from Australia includes courier traffic, perishables, milk powder and vitamins.