Virgin posts record tonnage growth from Chicago

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AUG 11, 2015: Virgin Atlantic Cargo recorded a record month for tonnage from Chicago in June, boosting its monthly average volume on the route by over 30 percent to more than 860 tonnes.

The airline’s year-round Chicago business generates cargo shipments for across its global route network. The UK is the top destination, accounting for 53 percent, while a further 29 percent of freight originating in Chicago connects over London to India. Virgin Atlantic also carries cargo from Chicago to Australia, South Africa and countries in Europe and the Middle East.

Shipments in June ranged from general cargo to printed matter, works of art and Corvette racing cars heading to the Le Mans 24 hour race in France. Traffic from London to Chicago has grown almost as much with an increase of over 16 percent in the first six months of 2015 and a 100 percent load factor outbound from the UK with perishable shipments such as fresh fish, flowers and vegetables in addition to artworks and apparel.

In 2014, Virgin Atlantic achieved a 7 percent increase in tonnage from Chicago and in 2015 it has strengthened its position in the U.S. Midwest market with the introduction of daily Airbus A330 flights to and from Detroit, offering over 16 tonnes of capacity in both directions. Detroit is the airline’s eleventh destination in North America.

Nick Jones, vice president - Sales at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said, “Chicago is one of our strongest and most consistent routes and the introduction of Detroit has increased our ability to provide the additional capacity our customers want. Currently over 65 percent of the cargo on our Detroit-London flights originates in Chicago. Our trucking services in the U.S mean that cargo leaving Chicago every evening arrives in Detroit by 0800 the next morning to connect with our daily flight to London. For the year as a whole we are forecasting positive growth both to and from Chicago.”

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