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  August 13th, 2015 | Written by

Virgin Atlantic Sees Record Chicago Cargo Growth; Adds Detroit to Route

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  • Virgin Atlantic’s June shipments included several Corvettes heading to the Le Mans motor race in France.
  • Virgin Atlantic has enjoyed a 100-percent load factor outbound from the UK in the first six months of 2015.
  • Detroit became Virgin Atlantic's 11th destination in North America with the start of daily flights on June 1.

Virgin Atlantic Cargo recorded a record month for tonnage moving from Chicago in June, boosting its monthly average volume on the route to more than 860 tons, an increase of more than 30 percent.

Shipments in June ranged from general cargo to printed matter, works of art and several Chevrolet Corvettes heading to the Le Mans 24 Hour motor race in France.

The carrier’s year-round Chicago business generates air 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.

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 recently strengthened its position in the U.S. Midwest market with the introduction of daily Airbus A330 flights to and from Detroit, offering over 16 tons of capacity in both directions.

Detroit became Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s eleventh destination in North America on June 1, 2015 with the start of daily flights to and from London Heathrow, giving customers greater access to and from the U.S. Midwest.

Virgin Atlantic’s daily Airbus A330 flight offers over 16 tons of capacity in both directions and the airline expects customers in the UK, Europe, India and South Africa that already use its daily Chicago services to welcome a second destination into the popular U.S. Midwest cargo market.

The new Detroit route increases the choice of U.S. destinations for the carrier’s customers joining Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.