Virgin Atlantic Cargo is to launch a second daily flight between London and Johannesburg, adding up to 24 tonnes of additional cargo capacity when services commence in October.
The new daily flight will be operated by a Boeing 787-9, which can carry up to 24 tonnes of cargo, helping to provide extra capacity with Virgin seeing business growing five per cent going to South Africa in 2017 and four per cent leaving Johannesburg.
In April, Virgin Atlantic Cargo will also open a local contact centre in Johannesburg to support customers in South Africa.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo director of sales, Steve Buckerfield says: “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, Virgin has seen an increase in the volume of courier and express business from the US and the UK to South Africa driven by e-commerce.
Northbound traffic includes high volumes of perishables for the UK market as well as general cargo.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo regional sales manager in Johannesburg, Laurn Baldwin says: “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.”