Virgin Atlantic Cargo volumes up 3 percent in first half of 2018

Virgin Atlantic Cargo reported a 3 percent year-over-year increase in cargo volumes during the first half of 2018, to 116,300 tonnes.

Some highlights that contributed to the growth in volumes include the opening of its Pharma Zone at London Heathrow (LHR) during the fourth quarter of 2017 and confirmation of the airline’s Good Distribution Practice (GDP) compliance in April, which helped increase Virgin Atlantic’s pharma by more than 50 percent, y-o-y. Growing e-commerce volumes, Virgin Atlantic’s trans-Atlantic joint venture with Delta Cargo and an increase in shipments of cars and automotive parts were also growth factors.

Looking at the carrier’s performance by region, Virgin Atlantic Cargo reported high demand from the United Kingdom to the United States, Delhi, Johannesburg, Dubai, Shanghai and the Caribbean regions. Volumes ex-Australia were 22 percent above targeted levels, with strong demand for capacity seen on Virgin Australia’s Melbourne-to-Hong Kong route.

Looking ahead, Virgin Atlantic remains optimistic about demand growth, despite potential headwinds from tariffs and other factors. Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said, “Exchange rates and other external factors may slow some parts of the air cargo market in the second half of 2018 but with the momentum we have built, alongside the benefits of our partnerships with Delta Cargo and Virgin Australia, our expectations for the rest of the year remain positive.”

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