Virgin Atlantic’s cargo operation has unveiled new capabilities as it prepares to participate in the logistical complexities of distributing Covid-19 vaccines around the world.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned as many as 8,000 aircraft will be needed to distribute supplies.
To ensure the safety and security of this valuable cargo, Virgin has introduced a new Pharma Secure service for all urgent, valuable and vulnerable pharmaceutical and life sciences shipments.
Working with their customers and responding to their specific requirements, the new product will include a 24/7 support team, automatic live status updates, proactive service recovery and periodical integrity checks, temperature-controlled facilities and a dedicated booking team.
Dominic Kennedy, managing director, Virgin Atlantic Cargo commented: “This new service takes our already well-established pharmaceutical offering to the next level.
“We want to offer our customers peace of mind so they can book confidently with us, knowing their precious cargo will arrive safely, securely and on time.
“We look forward to playing a part in supporting the Covid-19 recovery by transporting crucial vaccines and pharmaceutical products to the UK and around the world on our global network, ensuring swift access to vaccines for the public as they become available.”
He added: “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Virgin Atlantic Cargo has played a vital role keeping global supply chains running and transporting essential goods around the world.
“They are agile and continue to innovate, bringing in new services such as Pharma Secure to respond to customer demand.
“It is a testament to the hard work of our teams that we have completely re-engineered our cargo business into a successful freight-only operation offering cargo-only services and charters for the first time in our history, enabling businesses to re-establish trade routes and transport critical supplies around the world.”
Although the emergence of Covid-19 led to a decrease in passengers travelling, demand to transport cargo remains strong.
Virgin Atlantic flew its first cargo only flight on March 21st and has grown and evolved a significant programme of scheduled and charter cargo flying, averaging over 190 flights per week to new and existing destinations.