Air, Feature, Freight News

Virgin and Delta to move to hi-tech Heathrow site

[ January 17, 2019   //   ]

Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo will move to a new purpose-built facility at dnata City East, in the second half of 2019. The new site will double their cargo footprint at Heathrow, to 335,000 sq ft and it will offer more automation and faster truck and cargo handling times.
Staff will use handheld devices to efficiently manage the flow of cargo, while a double-train ETV system will increase storage to 245 positions for pallets and containers. Customer trucks arriving at the facility will benefit from a new door management system, which enables drivers to complete paperwork at the gatehouse on arrival without leaving their vehicles and to then be immediately assigned to one of 18 cargo doors.
There is also a dedicated perishables zone and an enlarged AVI centre for live animals.
Director of cargo operations at Virgin Atlantic, Tania Boyes (pictured, below), said: “Moving into dnata City East will be a game changer for us and our joint venture with Delta Cargo. It will not only double our capacity at Heathrow and provide space to grow, it reinforces our commitment to be easier to do business with, to use new technologies and automation to simplify and improve our customer experience, and to leverage our partnerships. At a time when Virgin Atlantic is achieving record volumes, this gives us a platform for long-term growth. We also wish to acknowledge dnata’s foresight in working with us to make this possible.”
Delta Cargo’s managing director – operations and customer experience, Rafael Figueroa, added: “This state-of-the art facility will put the customer at the forefront with improved facilities and innovative technology solutions, as well as positioning Delta Cargo and Virgin Atlantic Cargo for future growth in this key market.”
Gary Morgan, dnata’s chief executive in the UK, stated: “dnata’s relationship with Virgin Atlantic Cargo spans more than 30 years and has, most recently, been enhanced by Virgin’s joint venture with Delta Cargo. As a key partner, we are excited to be supporting the growth of both airlines by not only investing in this brand new facility but by also embracing their commitment to using new technologies to achieve service efficiencies and benefits for their customers. dnata City East gives us the opportunity to design a facility which is tailored to Virgin and Delta’s long-term ambitions within the expanding Heathrow environment.”