Virgin Atlantic Cargo strives for metal neutrality

With profitability restored to the airline as a whole, Virgin Atlantic Cargo can now focus on refining its current cargo network and more importantly, its integration with its strategic partner, Delta Cargo, as it aims to create a ‘metal neutral’ product offering. Donald Urquhart reports.


Virgin Atlantic Cargo strives for metal neutrality


In an environment of very mixed performance in which some carriers are struggling deeply while others manage to excel and still many more linger lethargically somewhere between, Virgin Atlantic accomplished a critically important feat. Although clearly stated as a two-year goal back in 2013, the return to profitability for the most recent financial year ending 31 December 2014 with a pre-tax profit of £14.4 million (US$22.2 million) still came as a pleasant surprise “We’re on a bit of a journey really,” observes Virgin Atlantic’s director of cargo, John Lloyd. Th is key turnaround for the airline which has suffered a long thin dry patch in terms of profitability rests squarely on the shoulders of Craig Kreeger who was brought on board in February 2013 to set the carrier on a new path to profitability.

“We’ve been in a world over many years where the profits have been marginal at best and that’s sort of okay; make a little bit of profits in a good year and then something happens somewhere in the world and you lose the money – but you can’t carry on like that.” Things changed fast under Kreeger who set a two-year timeframe for return to profitability, although it was not without pain. “He’s brought in change in the way we do business,” Lloyd explains. While the brand and the culture remain the same, the group now has more structure, more discipline and a clear direction, which Lloyd candidly notes, “we really didn’t have before”.