Today, Virgin Atlantic Cargo announced it awarded contracts to Israel-based air cargo sales agent WTA Aviation and Swissport that will support the carrier’s upcoming daily flights between Heathrow Airport (LHR), and Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv, Israel, which begin on September 25.
Under its contract with Virgin Atlantic Cargo, WTA Aviation will be responsible for selling the 20 tonnes of daily cargo capacity available on Virgin’s Airbus A330-300 flights. Meanwhile, Swissport, in accordance with its contract with the carrier, will handle Virgin Atlantic’s cargo at TLV.
Virgin Atlantic’s head of regional cargo operations international Kevin Hillyard said the carrier selected Swissport to handle its cargo at TLV due to its “modern facility” at the airport, which is equipped with cool-chain facilities, valuable goods storage and DGR and live animal areas. According to the carrier, Swissport’s operations at the airport are also supported by real-time technologies for cargo build optimization and shipment tracking. The ground handler already provides cargo handling at TLV for Virgin Atlantic’s JV partner, Delta Cargo.
CEO and owner of WTA Aviation, David Zelnik, said that the company already has customers interested in leveraging Virgin Atlantic’s capacity on the route.
This move signals a continuation of Virgin Atlantic’s recent expansion efforts – in late June, the carrier ordered 14 A330-900neo aircraft and additionally, opened a new facility at LHR in January, where it has since been expanding services out of TLV.