IAG Cargo extends reach to tap South African perishables

britishairways_21686833067366 (2)To capture some of the booming perishables market in Africa, IAG Cargo has added three-times-a-week, London Gatwick to Cape Town service to its winter schedule, using a 777-200 aircraft, beginning Nov. 24.

The new seasonal frequencies will supplement IAG’s thrice-weekly A330-300 Madrid-Johannesburg service, which is set to begin Aug. 1, and its existing London Heathrow-Cape Town-Johannesburg service. By the end of 2016, this new Cape Town route brings total IAG Cargo flights to 27 per week to South Africa from both the London and Madrid hubs, offering a weekly lift of up to 440 tonnes.

Over the past 12 months, IAG Cargo said it has seen volumes of mangoes, avocadoes, pineapples and flowers “perform extremely well” out of South Africa, via IAG’s Constant Fresh service. “We now offer an outstanding proposition into and out of South Africa, providing businesses with enhanced flexibility over where and when they ship their goods,” said David Shepherd, head of commercial at IAG Cargo. “The forthcoming Johannesburg route will help to better link Africa with strategic markets, such as Latin America, while the new Cape Town-Gatwick route offers unrivalled access to Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.”

According to the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB), the Middle East, European Union and United States were major importers of perishables from South Africa last year. Year-over-year African export volumes of avocados increased by 26 percent in 2015, while citrus experienced 2 percent growth, PPECB said.  Also, 55 percent of South Africa’s subtropical fruit, including avocados, mangoes, pineapples, and passion fruit, was exported to the EU last year.

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