Citing a rise in demand for automotive and perishable goods in South Africa, Virgin Atlantic Cargo has added a second daily 787-9 widebody service connecting London and Johannesburg.
According to Virgin, cargo volumes between the United States and South Africa, via London Heathrow (LHR), have seen an 8 percent rise through the first eight months of this year.
“We are experiencing a high level of demand for capacity to and from South Africa,” said Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo. “On Oct. 28, our first day of double daily services, both flights operated with full payloads totaling 34 tonnes.”
Traffic moving ex-Johannesburg, via O. R. Tambo International (JNB), has risen by 2 percent over the same period, in the form of pre-packed fruit salads, vegetables and stone fruits. Other in-demand cargo on the same route include car parts, computer components, mining equipment and personal effects. U.K. exports to South Africa, meanwhile, include fish and other foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, books and magazines, agricultural spares, electrical components and auto parts, Virgin added.
Kennedy said he expected these volumes to continue, “given the broad range of goods moving to and from Johannesburg.” Of the 22 years that Virgin has served the South Africa route, “this is one of our best-ever years,” he said.