Virgin Atlantic Cargo recorded a 30 per cent increase in tonnage from Chicago in June.
The growth took the amount of cargo transported to more than 860 tonnes. Shipments in June ranged from general cargo to printed matter, works of art, and Corvette racing cars heading to the Le Mans 24 hour race in France, Virgin says. The airline operates its Chicago route all year round.
The UK is Virgin’s top destination from Chicago, accounting for 53 per cent of freight carried. Traffic from London to Chicago rose by more than 16 per cent in the first six months of 2015. This was due in part to a 100 per cent load factor outbound from the UK. Goods carried ranged from perishable shipments such as fresh fish, flowers and vegetables, to art and clothing.
A further 29 per cent of Virgin freight originating in Chicago connects over London to India. Virgin Atlantic also carries cargo from Chicago to Australia, South Africa and destinations across Europe and the Middle East.
In 2014, Virgin Atlantic achieved a seven per cent increase in tonnage from Chicago. The airline further strengthened its position in the US mid-West market this year with the introduction of daily Airbus A330 flights to and from Detroit, offering more than 16 tonnes of capacity in both directions.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo vice president for sales, Nick Jones, says: “Chicago is one of our strongest and most consistent routes and the introduction of Detroit has increased our ability to provide the additional capacity our customers want.
“Over 65 per cent of the cargo on our Detroit-London flights originates in Chicago. Our trucking services in the US means that cargo leaving Chicago every evening arrives in Detroit by 08.00h the next morning to connect with our daily flight to London. For the year as a whole we are forecasting positive growth both to and from Chicago.”