Virgin Atlantic Cargo gained nine percent revenue growth in 2017

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March 15, 2018: Virgin Atlantic Cargo saw volumes grow five-year high in 2017, with revenues up by nine percent to £199.6 million. It was mainly driven by a strong growth in the pharmaceutical and e-commerce shipments.

Virgin Atlantic carried 230.5 million kilos of cargo in 2017, up by six percent compared to 2016, thanks to the strong westbound business in the US. 

Virgin Atlantic’s new daily Heathrow-Seattle services, launched last March, performed above expectations, and witnessed double-digit gains in demand from other destinations across the US, from London and Manchester.

Virgin Atlantic’s daily services to India and Africa also saw strong gains in volume, as well as routes to the UK from these markets, along with China and the US, despite facing brunt of the exchange rate. 

Virgin Atlantic also delivered growth in its cargo sales with the help of the agreement with Virgin Australia. It boosted the launch of its Melbourne-Los Angeles services in April 2017, with additional daily Melbourne-Hong Kong flight services in November 2017.

In addition to the growth in perishables and high value cargo shipments in 2017, Virgin Atlantic’s biggest gains came from pharmaceuticals and e-commerce shipments. 

Supported by the opening of its new Heathrow Pharma Zone with its joint venture partner Delta for temperature-controlled life science and pharmaceutical products in October 2017, its cargo shipments increased by 20 percent year-on-year. 

The airline also benefited from its high frequencies of flights to and from 11 destinations in the US, which is the world’s biggest pharma trade lane.

Similarly, the airline’s e-commerce business saw a growth in 2017, which was boosted by its high service levels and quick connections to major consumer markets in the US, the Middle East, China and Australia.

Dominic Kennedy, managing director, Virgin Atlantic Cargo said: “There’s no doubt that the air cargo market was buoyant in 2017, compared to previous years, but there was still a strong competition in this business. We are delighted with the results we have delivered for the airline, which are a tribute to the outstanding performance of our entire cargo team. With our prime route network, growing capabilities to transport specialist products, and continued passion for delivering high quality service levels, helped us meet the sustained level of demand from our customers, and we look forward to another positive year in 2018.”

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