Virgin and Delta future proof cargo joint venture

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Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo have future proofed their joint venture with the opening of the London Heathrow export facility.

Opened on schedule, the new facility is the first phase of the two airline’s expansion programme to double cargo handling capacity at Heathrow to meet projected growth.

The new dnata City East facility offers 18 customer delivery doors; an expanded elevated transfer vehicle; high-rise racking with 1,350 positions for storing export freight; a dedicated Pharma Zone; dangerous goods and live animal facilities; x-ray technology with enhanced imaging capability; and high-definition CCTV.

Rafael Figueroa, managing director – operations and customer experience at Delta Cargo says: “The technology enhancements and the transparency across the export operation, with increased temperature-controlled facilities, are designed to make it easier for our customers to work with both airlines.”

The facility features the Gatehouse concept where drivers no longer need to leave their vehicles to complete documentation processes, and they receive text message updates to help expedite cargo deliveries.

Real-time acceptance using the operation’s door management system and hand-held technology provides instant freight status updates to confirm cargo is being handled and flown as planned.

Tania Boyes, director – cargo operations at Virgin Atlantic says: “By embracing new technology and ways of working, the building gives us the capacity to grow efficiently as we enter the next exciting phase of expansion for Virgin Atlantic.”