Monday, November 12, 2012

Virgin Cargo Boosts Seasonal Freight Flights for SA Exporters

Perishable Commodity Hike Benefits Other Sectors
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH AFRICA – A well known phenomena amongst ocean freight providers such as the major container lines to and from China is the withdrawal at certain times of the year of regular services as seasonal peaks and troughs affecting local trade cause a reduction in traffic flow. Every winter since 1999 Virgin Atlantic Cargo say that they have restarted their daily Cape Town freight service to coincide with the peak season demand for the country’s fresh produce and the extra capacity is welcomed, not only by the exporters of perishable goods, but also by general cargo customers.

The Cape Town services are in addition to Virgin Atlantic’s year-round daily passenger and cargo flights between Johannesburg and London Heathrow and, as well as exports of general cargo, fish and fresh fruits such as berries, grapes and stone fruit to the UK market, customers in South Africa also benefit from Virgin Atlantic’s fast connections in London to other prime export destinations in the United States, including New York, Chicago and Miami with every Airbus A340-300 flight offering 17 tonnes of cargo capacity.

During the summer, Virgin Atlantic Cargo continues to route Cape Town traffic – including a high volume of general cargo - onto its flights from Johannesburg to London, one of the airline’s top performing cargo routes. Nick Jones, Head of Sales at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said:

“Cape Town is a very strong route for us throughput the peak winter season. Currently, as in so many other markets, volumes are slightly down year-on-year but we are confident of another good performance both to and from Cape Town following the withdrawal of other airline capacity. We are a well-established winter season carrier from Cape Town and the service levels we offer mean we are successful in retaining our customers’ loyalty on a year-round basis.”