Impact Publications : AirCargo-260
AirCArgo AsiA-PACifiC • JUNE, 2019 • Page 13 Virgin Atlantic in first UK ‘firm A330-900 purchase’ VIRGIN Atlantic has become the first UK air- line to confirm an order for 14 A330-900neos, with an additional six as options, providing its cargo customers with a further boost in capacity. The new planes are designed to be 13 per cent more fuel and car- bon efficient than the A330-300 they replace and will deliver a 50 per cent reduction in airport noise. Over a 10-year period 2014- 2024, the fuel efficiency of Virgin Atlantic’s fleet will have improved by 32 per cent. The order, valued at US$4.1 billion, is a crucial step in Virgin Atlantic’s fleet transformation program, which will see 100 per cent of the airline’s planes replaced over a 10-year period, creating one of the youngest fleets in the skies with an av- erage age of just 5.3 years. Of the firm order, eight will be purchased and six leased, as Virgin Atlantic continues its investment into increasing the proportion of owned aircraft in its fleet. Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo said: “We expect the A330-900ne- os to be another fantastic air- craft for cargo and to support our projected growth in the years ahead. “This also includes our new contract for Accenture’s latest AFLS 8.0 cargo management platform to enable customers to interact with us digitally, the opening of our new state-of-the- art cargo facility dnata City East at Heathrow in September and the arrival of the airline’s first A350-1000s this summer. “Alongside our upcoming new routes to Tel Aviv, Mumbai and Sao Paulo, there has never been a more exciting time to be a cus- tomer of Virgin Atlantic Cargo as we focus on, and invest in, long-term growth and delivering outstanding customer service.” The aircraft will operate on both business and leisure routes for the airline world wide with bases at London Heathrow, Lon- don Gatwick and Manchester Airports. Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic commented: “The acquisition of 14 A330ne- os will play a pivotal role in our fleet transformation and is testament to our sustainability commitment. By 2024, we will have improved the fuel efficien- cy of our aircraft by 32 per cent. We will be proud to operate the youngest, cleanest fleet yet, with an average age of just over five years.” Further contributing to its growth strategy, the airline re- cently revealed its 27th daily ser- vice from London Heathrow and its third new route announce- ment this year. Flights to Tel Aviv, Israel and Mumbai, India are due to commence in September and October 2019 respectively, with flights to São Paulo, Brazil, start- ing in 2020, marking the airline’s first venture into South America. Volgs-Dnepr in Leipzig- Halle Airport cargo boost THE VOLGA -Dnepr Group and Mit- teldeutsche Flughafen AG (MFAG) will continue to expand their strategic partnership at leipzig/Halle Airport in the areas of air freight and logistics. both companies agreed this in a Memorandum of understanding (Mou). The Group and MFAG will join forces to create a logistics system in leipzig/ Halle Airport to boost cargo infrastruc- ture development and make leipzig/ Halle a freight multimodal hub for scheduled and charter operations of the Group. The agreement involving the two companies means a further boost for the Cargo Hub leipzig/Halle; investments of up to EuR500 million are due to be made to expand this facility during the next few years. The Group will operate both charter and scheduled operations to/from Leip- zig/Halle Airport, accumulating regular and project traffic on board Airbridge- Cargo Airlines and Volga-Dnepr Airlines. The boeing freighter fleet will fly up to 20 weekly flights to/from leipzig/Halle Airport through 2021, while gradually increasing this number to 50 in 2030. both companies are also planning to intensify their cooperation in the fields of marketing, sales as well as the develop- ment of business and personnel. As many as 500 new jobs are due to be created in various fields of activity as part of this cooperation arrangement. From left to right: Gцtz Ahmelmann, ceo at Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG (MFAG), dr Matthias Hass, minister of Finances in the Free State of Saxony, Aleksey Isaykin, president of Volga- Dnepr Group.