Virgin Atlantic Cargo will commence flights between the UK and Pakistan to support growing trade volumes between exporters and importers in both countries.
Flights are set to launch from London Heathrow to Lahore on 7th December, Manchester to Islamabad on 10th December, and London Heathrow to Islamabad on 12th December.
This is the first time that Virgin Atlantic Cargo has flown to Pakistan, the airline is continuing to innovate and expand its destination offering in line with demand.
The new services will add over 66 direct flights to Pakistan each month, expanding the direct UK to Pakistan market by 90% in December alone.
The UK is the largest export market for Pakistan in Europe, transporting high volumes of goods such as textiles, apparel and machinery.
Trade in goods and services between the UK and Pakistan is worth some £3.3 billion a year, rising 4.7% year on year in 2019. The UK is the third biggest global market for Pakistani exporters after the US and China.
Cargo customers in Pakistan will also benefit from fast connections to prime markets in the US as well as in Europe and Africa via London Heathrow.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo also expects healthy demand for capacity into Pakistan from customers across its international network.
Dominic Kennedy, Managing Director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “The import and export market for goods between the UK and Pakistan is extremely healthy, with over 114 million kilograms of cargo moving between Europe and Pakistan each year.”
Arshad Wali Muhammad, Group Director, Gerry’s Group, said: “The two destinations in the UK will be a gateway to reach over 300 networks of destinations worldwide. With Gerry’s as GSA for Pakistan, we look forward to including this successful new service within our network.”
Janis Balkens, dnata CEO, New and Emerging Markets, said: “We will ensure the success in London Heathrow and Manchester, as well as Islamabad and Lahore, providing our seamless multiservice offering to Virgin Atlantic Cargo and its customers.”