Surging Chicago cargo market fills Virgin’s bellies

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


Virgin Atlantic Cargo recorded a record month for tonnage from Chicago in June, boosting its monthly average volume on the route by over 30 per cent 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 per cent, while a further 29 per cent 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 per cent in the first six months of 2015 and a 100 per cent 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 seven per cent increase in tonnage from Chicago and in 2015 it has strengthened its position in the US Midwest market with the introduction of daily 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.