Virgin Atlantic Cargo says it is delighted with the support it has gained from freight forwarders in Mumbai after resuming the route in October last year after a three-year absence.
The airline has also acknowledged the support and understanding of customers after night-time runway closures for maintenance work in Mumbai restricted its cargo capacity and says it is now back to business as usual with up to 15 tons of uplift a day on its flights to London Heathrow.
Nick Jones, Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s Head of Sales, said: “Our return to the Mumbai market in October was met with such positivity not just from the local customers, but from our customers around our network. We are very happy to be re-establishing ourselves in such a dynamic commercial market and thank our customers for their loyalty and business. Like every other country, India is dealing with the impact on its trade flows of the uncertain global economy but it is still forecasting growth at around 5-7% and we are confident it will remain one of the bright spots in our network as it has been for that last 12 years with our daily New Delhi operation. ”
Fast connectivity with prime U.S gateways over Virgin’s London hub and customer confidence in the airline’s transhipment service in the UK has also enabled the airline to regain customer support in India. The timing of Virgin’s schedules means cargo leaving Mumbai on their daily Airbus A330 will arrive the same day in New York and Los Angeles. The airline also offers next day deliveries to other destinations in the US which are already proving popular with customers throughout Mumbai.
Aminder Bal of Interglobe, Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s GSA in India added: “The night-time closure of the long runway in Mumbai and taxiway repairs meant that soon after the resumption of flights we were being impacted by payload issues but now this work has been completed we are back to full capacity and looking forward to a very strong year for our Mumbai operation. We certainly appreciate the understanding of our customers during this time and we are extremely pleased that our service quality in London and network connectively has given them a compelling reason to stay loyal to Virgin Atlantic.”
Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, has recently returned from a second trade mission to India as part of the target to double Britain's trade with India from £11.5bn in 2010 to £23bn by 2015. It currently stands at £16.4bn.