Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic enter new cargo trans-Atlantic Joint Venture

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Air France-KLM Cargo, Delta Air Lines Cargo and Virgin Atlantic Cargo launched an expanded tans-Atlantic joint venture (JV), aligning services for cargo customers with more connections, shipment routine flexibility, improved trucking options and innovative digital solutions.

The partnership, which represents 23% of total trans-Atlantic cargo capacity or more than
600,000 tonnes annually, plans to enable the airlines to offer a combined network of up to 341 peak daily trans-Atlantic services – a choice of 110 nonstop routes with onward connections to 238 cities in North America, 98 in Continental Europe and 16 in the U.K.

The new JV creates convenient nonstop or one-stop connections to every corner of North America, Europe and the U.K., by leveraging an enhanced network built around the airlines’ hubs: Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York-JFK, Paris, Seattle and Salt Lake City.

The expanded JV enables greater co-operation between the airlines, focused on delivering world class customer service and reliability on both sides of the Atlantic achieved through co-located facilities, joint trucking options as well as seamless bookings and connected service recovery. The airlines have already co-located warehouses in key U.S., U.K. and European airports, and will review opportunities to co-locate further at more airports around the globe.

Adriaan den Heijer, executive vice president of Air France-KLM Cargo: “We are very excited to welcome Virgin Atlantic Cargo to the successful trans-Atlantic Joint Venture between Air France-KLM Cargo and Delta Cargo. The combined network means more choices and value for our customers as we align our services to enable seamless transfers and further streamlining of transport times. This enhanced joint venture offers the most and best trans-Atlantic options ever in the cargo industry.”

The four airlines will leverage their expertise in the transportation of specialised products, including end-to-end GDP and IATA CEIV quality compliance for pharmaceuticals, supported by dedicated teams and facilities across the globe. The JV will allow the airlines to provide customers with a diversified product range to best suit their individual requirements.

“This announcement is just the first step in the journey,” said Shawn Cole, vice president - Delta Cargo.  “Our customers can expect additional benefits as we evolve our partnership further to
deliver best-in class customer experience and operational reliability, with differentiated products and services that are tailored and developed to make it easier to do business with the four airlines.”

Customers could book their shipments by using new digital solutions designed to reduce duplication and drive efficiencies as a result of a greater connectivity between the airlines’ systems. Alongside the development of a growing choice of self-service technology options, customers will continue to enjoy the support of co-located customer service centres to enhance their cargo delivery experience.

Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s managing director, Dominic Kennedy said: “Our great partnership with Delta has already enriched the benefits we offer to our customers. With our expanded JV with Air France-KLM Cargo, we are even more excited about the benefits we will be bringing for our customers as we work with like-minded partners to deliver greater value across our outstanding trans-Atlantic network.”

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