Virgin Atlantic Cargo is extending its cargo-only network to Italy, launching twice-weekly services connecting London Heathrow and Milan.

    Starting with the first flight on Saturday 12 September, the airline will subsequently commence Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 flights from London every Thursday and Sunday offering up to 50 tonnes of cargo capacity per flight to and from Milan’s Malpensa Airport.

    For customers in the US, Virgin also promises quick and easy connections over London to do business with companies located in Italy’s largest industrial region. This will include next day deliveries for products from New York to Milan.

    Virgin Atlantic Cargo managing director Dominic Kennedy said: “Since our first cargo-only flight on 22 March, we’ve operated over 1,800 of these services, helping our customers deliver nearly 50 million kilos of cargo and, in the process, provided a valuable source of revenue for Virgin Atlantic as we continue our recovery programme. We have chosen Milan as  our latest cargo-only route because the profile of business fits so well with our UK and US network, and we’re very much looking forward to being able to grow our working relationships with customers in Italy.”

    In 2019, prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, Malpensa handled over 545,000 tonnes of freight traffic. Virgin Atlantic Cargo expects to carry a wide variety of cargoes ranging from apparel and footwear, food and wine and luxury car parts, to pharmaceuticals, electronics products and textiles.

    Cargo capacity on the new Virgin Atlantic service will be marketed by ADP, the airline’s general sales agency in Italy, while Bcube Air Cargo has been awarded the cargo handling contract for export and import shipments.

    Virgin Atlantic Cargo can offer cargo capacity to Atlanta, Barbados, Brussels, Chicago, Delhi, Dublin, Johannesburg, Lagos, Miami, Mumbai, New York JFK, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tel Aviv, as well as offering an onforwarding network.

    ADP’s managing director in Italy Carlo Gonzata added: “Starting twice-weekly frequencies to Malpensa shows Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s support of the Italian market. Malpensa Airport is a prime hub for export and import trade and as Italy continues to rise from the pandemic, it is especially welcome news for customers that they can now access direct capacity to and from the UK with Virgin Atlantic as well as fast connections to major US cities. Both markets provide Italy’s business community with very important trade opportunities.”