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LONDON: April 10, 2019. Virgin Atlantic Cargo has reported a 13 percent year-on-year revenue increase to £222 million in 2018, its strongest revenue performance in the last five years. Volumes rose 6.0 percent in the period to 244,500 tonnes flown, the airline’s best result since 2010.

The year 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.

Over the 12 months the airline achieved new records for tonnage from the UK and the US as December saw its highest-ever daily import and export volumes through London Heathrow.

Tanya Boyes Director of Operations Virgin Atlantic Cargo In 2018, Virgin Australia extended its network with the launch of daily Sydney-Hong Kong services in July to take advantage of a buoyant e-commerce market.

The introduction of double daily Johannesburg services at the end of October also contributed to a 15 percent increase in volumes on the route year-on-year and a 22 percent boost to Heathrow-Johannesburg revenues.

Dominic Kennedy, managing director, Cargo at Virgin Atlantic commented: “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.”

In related news the company has awarded a five-year handling contract to Sifax SAHCOL in Lagos following a 19 percent boost in export volumes in 2018 and higher inbound demand from the pharmaceutical and courier sectors.

Virgin Atlantic’s import and export cargo will be handled in Sifax SAHCOL’s 22,000sq.mt. warehouse at Murtala Muhammed International Airport incorporating a cold room for perishables and temperature-sensitive shipments, and dedicated locations for courier and high value cargo.
The building’s 22 truck bays will expedite collections and deliveries, while 24/7 CCTV coverage, access control systems, screening technology and a control room will ensure the highest levels of security.

The airline's daily A340-600 flights with up to 20 tonnes of cargo capacity on the route produced a 9.0 percent rise in ex-UK revenue in 2018, helped by a 135 percent rise in pharmaceutical volumes and a 21 percent growth in courier shipments. The 11 percent year-on-year boost in annual revenues ex-Lagos was largely attributed to higher perishables traffic as a result of the Nigerian government’s initiative to encourage agricultural exports, said the airline.

“Lagos has been an important cargo market for us for more than 17 years and we are forecasting further growth in our export and import volumes in 2019,” declared Virgin Atlantic director of Cargo Operations Tania Boyes (pictured). “By moving to a larger and more modern facility, we can improve our product and service offerings for the growing number of companies moving goods to and from Nigeria.”

VN Cargo Connect continues in its role as Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s GSSA in Nigeria.

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