Monday, August 24, 2015

Latest Air Freight Figures from Cargo Carrier Confirm Middle East Growth

Virgin Outstrips Rest of the Market
Shipping News Feature

UK – DUBAI – Our recent article regarding the year’s air freight situation so far as reported by IATA showed the Middle East as the market which had developed the fastest, with growth for the year to date of 14%. Now the latest figures released by Virgin Atlantic Cargo confirm the carrier is outstripping the rest of the market, transporting over 30% more cargo from Dubai in the first half of 2015, boosted by additional US routes and frequencies, and traffic generated as a result of the American port disruptions.

For the six months ended 30 June 2015, the airline carried 2.4 million kilos ex Dubai, compared to 1.8 million kilos for the same period a year ago. Strong increases were seen in the volume of cargo destined for London as well as beyond London to the United States. The airline’s additional daily frequency to New York JFK, and the launch of Virgin Atlantic’s new Atlanta route, both contributed significantly to the increase. John Lloyd, Senior Vice President Cargo at Virgin Atlantic, said:

“Given the intense level of competition in the region, our performance from Dubai in the opening six months of 2015 is very encouraging. Our increased capacity to the US has made a big difference and was particularly important during this period as customers looked for alternative routes into the US to avoid the port disruptions there.

“We have also seen improvements in our service levels this year after they were impacted towards the end of 2014 during our ground handler’s relocation in Dubai. The result for the first half is testimony to our customers’ confidence in Virgin Atlantic’s seamless cargo connections through our London hub and our aim now is to maintain this for the rest of the year.”

Virgin Atlantic commenced operations from Dubai over nine years ago and its daily Airbus A330-300 flights each offer some 20 tonnes of cargo capacity. Access to Virgin Atlantic’s eleven US destinations from London is particularly popular with customers moving goods from Dubai, as well as the airline’s fast trucking services to other key cities across North America.

In August 2014, Virgin Atlantic awarded a new GSA contract to Globe Air Cargo in Dubai to market the airline’s freight and courier express services in a move to simplify its freight and courier express sales for customers in the UAE and take advantage of the Dubai market’s strong growth forecast.