Virgin Atlantic Cargo has announced it will extend its primarily seafood and fish cargo-only network to Norway and will operate flights from London Heathrow with the aid of logistics group Kuehne+Nagel, with effect from 3 February 2021.
The airline is set to offer twice weekly flights on its Boeing 787-9 aircraft offering over 100 tonnes of capacity each week.
This new service will reportedly offer fast, efficient connections via London Heathrow onto Virgin Atlantic’s extensive global network, with seafood set to travel onwards to various US destinations and other gateways on Virgin’s network.
The route expects to carry vast quantities of fresh salmon, as well as cod and crabs. Flying a wide body aircraft into Harstad/Narvik airport at Evenes posed challenges for the Virgin Atlantic team which they overcame to ensure the route was operationally viable.
All pilots reportedly took part in special training for the “unique” approaches and departures they will experience alongside detailed briefings and airfield assessments that they will conduct at the airport. Virgin Atlantic Cargo said it will continue to expand its destination offering with the new service to northern Norway, its 11th new cargo destination in twelve months.
Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “Virgin Atlantic Cargo continues to expand at pace, and this exciting new launch is testament to the innovative spirit of our business.
“We look forward to working alongside Avinor, Perishable Centre North, Widerøe Ground Handling and especially Kuehne+Nagel as we provide this seamless service for customers.”
Dennis Verkooy, global head perishables & carrier management air logistics at Kuehne+Nagel, said: “What sounded impossible has quickly developed into an innovative solution. Together with our partner, Virgin Atlantic Cargo, we are now able to provide our customers in Northern Norway a service that is not only reliable and secure, but also gives them the fastest possible access to their markets.
“The new route will ensure that temperature-sensitive products will arrive on time and in perfect condition with maximum freshness to consumers.”