Virgin Atlantic Cargo has reported a
growth in revenue of 13% year-on-year to £222 million, its
strongest revenue performance in the last five years.
The achievement in 2018 was
supported by a 6% annual growth in volume to more than 244,000 tonnes, the airline’s best result since 2010.
The year 2018 saw
a succession of best-ever monthly and route performances, with
growth achieved across the majority of commodities flown, with
high value segments such as pharmaceuticals seeing a 50%
year-on-year increase in volume.
During the year, the airline also
achieved new records for tonnage from the UK and the US, as well
as on direct services from cities including Delhi and Los Angeles.
December saw Virgin Atlantic’s highest-ever daily import and
export volumes through London Heathrow.
Virgin Atlantic and
its customers continued to enjoy more benefits from its
transatlantic joint venture with Delta Cargo as well as from the
growth of revenues and volumes generated for Virgin Australia’s
expanding long-haul international network through the airlines’
longstanding sales and management agreement.
In 2018, Virgin
Australia extended its network with the launch of daily
Sydney-Hong Kong services in July, adding much-needed capacity on
the route, especially for the buoyant e-commerce market.
The introduction of double daily Johannesburg services by Virgin
Atlantic at the end of October also contributed to a 15% increase
in volumes on the route year-on-year and a 22% boost to
Dominic Kennedy, Managing
Director, Cargo at Virgin Atlantic, said, “2018 was an
amazing year for us in terms of growth. We achieved particularly
strong growth from June onwards, resulting in the best Q4
performance in our 34-year history, with positive contributions
from across our network and partnerships. As an airline that is
passionate about customer service, it is also a tribute to our
entire cargo team that, during such a busy year for volumes, we
achieved our highest-ever score for customer experience. This was
helped by the opening of our new Service Centres in Atlanta and Johannesburg, improved flown-as-booked performance, and closer
engagement with our handling and joint venture partners. This
result gives us the momentum we need to deliver a game-changing
year for our cargo business in 2019.”
2019 will see a
series of new investments which promise more benefits for Virgin
Atlantic Cargo’s customers. These include the additional capacity
that will be provided by the arrival of the airline’s first four
Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, a prime new route for cargo to Tel Aviv
– and, just announced for 2020, São Paulo, Brazil, the move to a
new state-of-the-art facility at Heathrow with partner Delta Cargo
– doubling the size of the joint cargo operation at the airport to
335,000 sq ft – and investments in new digital technologies to
give customers a suite of self-service options.