Virgin and Delta to move into dnata City East

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Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo will double their cargo footprint at Heathrow Airport when they move into the purpose built dnata City East later this year.

The move – scheduled for the second half of 2019 – will increase the size of Virgin and Delta’s cargo operation at Heathrow to 335,000 sq ft and customers will benefit from greater automation and faster truck and cargo handling times.

The facility will deliver the highest levels of service, security and automation, with customer trucks benefitting from a door management system, allowing drivers to complete paperwork at the gatehouse on arrival without leaving their vehicles and then be assigned to a cargo door.

Inside, investments in technology will enable staff using handheld devices to manage the flow of cargo, while the double-train ETV system will increase storage to 245 positions for pallets and containers.

The location will provide further benefits for customers moving temperature-controlled healthcare and life science products as well as offering a dedicated perishables zone an enlarged AVI centre for live animals.

Tania Boyes, director – cargo operations at Virgin Atlantic says moving into dnata City East will be a “game changer”.

She says: “It will not only double our capacity at Heathrow and provide space to grow, it reinforces our commitment to be easier to do business with, to use new technologies and automation to simplify and improve our customer experience, and to leverage our partnerships.”

Rafael Figueroa, managing director – operations and customer experience at Delta Cargo says: “This state-of-the art facility will put the customer at the forefront with improved facilities and innovative technology solutions, as well as positioning Delta Cargo and Virgin Atlantic Cargo for future growth in this key market.”

Gary Morgan, CEO of dnata UK says: “As a key partner, we are excited to be supporting the growth of both airlines by not only investing in this brand new facility but by also embracing their commitment to using new technologies to achieve service efficiencies and benefits for their customers.”