UK-based airline Virgin Atlantic has announced that it plans to operate 90 cargo flights per week in May as manufacturing activity begins to restart and coronavirus-related demand continues.
Virgin Atlantic said the move aims at connecting the UK with major international freight markets such as the US, Hong Kong, China, India, Israel and South Africa.
The airline will also operate cargo-only flights through Dublin for the first time in order to cater to Ireland’s medical technology, electronics and other industries by achieving same day connections to New York JFK, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv and Johannesburg.
The services will be operated using the airline’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which can carry up to 55 tonnes of cargo.
The May flying programme includes:
▪ Resumption of two weekly flights to/from Mumbai
▪ 17 flights a week to/from JFK
▪ 9 flights a week to/from Los Angeles
▪ Twice-weekly services from JFK and Los Angeles to Dublin
▪ Twice-weekly departures from Dublin to London
▪ Daily flights to/from Shanghai
▪ 4 x weekly services to/from Hong Kong
▪ Twice-weekly flights to/from Tel Aviv
▪ Three services a week to/from Johannesburg
Managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo Dominic Kennedy said, “In the current operating environment, we can increase our cargo-only services quickly and flex up our schedules in line with demand. We also expect an increase in customers seeking cargo charters, which we are ready and able to support.”
The airline will also increase its ability to offer exclusive cargo charters, which currently average 13 flights per week.
Virgin Atlantic has 14 aircraft at its disposal for cargo-only operations, including four A350s capable of carrying up to 49 tonnes of goods.