Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo have extended their long-standing partnership with dnata for a further five years, continuing the successful operation of ground handling and export services from the joint London Heathrow hub and Manchester Airport. The partnership also includes regional cargo gateways London Gatwick, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Newcastle.

dnata will continue to support the carriers’ cargo operations from its state-of-the-art City East facilities at London Heathrow, boasting new technologies and award-winning practices including:

  • 18 customer delivery doors with a Gatehouse concept. 
  • ETV (Elevated Transfer Vehicle), capable of full automation, with 245 pallet positions, up 20%, which enables the loading of flights in ‘trim order’ to support the airlines’ on-time performance. 
  • High-rise racking with 1,350 positions for storing export freight, eliminating unnecessary movements of shipments. 
  • A dedicated Pharma Zone and increased capacity for temperature-controlled and perishables cargoes. 
  • Special facilities for Dangerous Goods and Live Animal shipment. 
  • X-ray technology with enhanced imaging capability, reducing the need for secondary cargo screening. 
  • Advanced internal and external high-definition CCTV systems to ensure a safe and secure working environment. 

In conjunction with the partnership extension, the Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo teams will continue to work from the dnata City East facility. The airlines’ cargo operational and customer teams have so far benefited from working under one roof, sharing ways of working to support significant growth for the cargo sectors of the two carriers in the last year.  

Virgin Atlantic and Delta Cargo are also set to take advantage of the brand new import facility, dnata City East Phase 2, later this year.  The building will provide an additional 117,000 square feet in an adjacent state of the art building, as the two carriers continue to support vital supply chains across the globe.  

Tania Boyes, Head of Cargo Operations at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that we will be working alongside dnata for a further five years. We’d like to pay particular thanks to dnata for their support during the last 16 months, which has been invaluable during such unprecedented conditions and a vital time for our airline’s cargo operations. As we look to the future, we can’t wait to continue working together as we enter this next exciting chapter for our business.”

Vishal Bhatnagar, Managing Director – Cargo Operations, Delta Cargo, said: “Our U.K. cargo operation is a critical part of our global network, and the world-class dnata facilities we share with our partner Virgin Atlantic provide our customers with one-roof operations where they can pick-up and deliver shipments for both partners – making it easier to do business with us.  We are looking forward to the opening of the import facility later this year, and the continued strong partnership with Virgin Atlantic Cargo and dnata which is setting us up for future success in this market.”

Alex Doisneau, Managing Director at dnata UK, said: “We are delighted to cement our long-term partnership with both Virgin Atlantic and Delta Cargo and soon will be opening our newest facility at dnata City East to further enhance our portfolio and future-proof both growth and sustainability. Our infrastructure development at key gateways such as Manchester and London Heathrow provides a great platform for both airlines to heighten customer experience.”

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