Virgin Atlantic prepares cargo operation to carry COVID-19 vaccines

Cargo being loaded into aircraft
Virgin Atlantic
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
17 November 2020

Virgin Atlantic is preparing its cargo operation to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines on its global network.

To ensure the safety and security of this valuable cargo, the airline has introduced a new Pharma Secure service for all urgent, valuable and vulnerable shipments. 

The new offering includes:

  • 24/7 support team

  • Automatic live status updates

  • Proactive service recovery and periodical integrity checks

  • Temperature-controlled facilities

  • Dedicated booking team

  • Priority unloading at London Heathrow

We look forward to playing a part in supporting the COVID-19 recovery

“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,” Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said. 

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Virgin Atlantic Cargo has played a vital role in 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.

Cargo is loaded onto a Virgin Atlantic plane
Image from Virgin Atlantic

“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.”

Virgin Atlantic flew its first cargo-only flight on 21 March, as the coronavirus pandemic led to a decrease in passengers travelling. Since then, the airline has grown and evolved a significant programme of scheduled and charter cargo flying, averaging more than 190 flights a week. It also partnered with the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS to operate cargo-only flights from Shanghai to London Heathrow, bringing more than four million tonnes of essential medical equipment, supplies and PPE into the UK.

Visit Virgin Atlantic to find out more.