Virgin Atlantic Cargo will launch daily Boeing 787 passenger flights between London Heathrow and São Paulo, Brazil, in 2020, its first foray into South America.
The new route will give customers direct access into the continent’s largest import and export market. The airline expects to carry regular shipments of car parts, pharmaceuticals, food and agricultural products.
Dominic Kennedy, managing director, cargo, commented: “São Paulo is a fantastic route for our cargo customers, with high demand for both import and export capacity. Brazil is the Powerhouse of South America and we are excited to be flying to this continent for the first time.”
Virgin Atlantic has embarked on an ambitious growth plan which, in 2019, includes the arrival of the first four of 12 Airbus A350-1000, passenger aircraft which will deliver a 10%-22% improvement in lower deck cargo capacity depending on configuration.
This year will also see the airline move to a new Heathrow cargo terminal, twice the size of its existing operation, and invest in digital technologies to give customers new self-service options and make Virgin Atlantic Cargo “easier to do business with”.
The airline will become a founding member of a new, $13bn transatlantic joint venture with over 300 daily transatlantic flights and 96 non-stop transatlantic routes, alongside Delta, Air France and KLM as well as launching new services from London Heathrow to Las Vegas and Manchester to Los Angeles.