On Thursday, the International Airlines Group (IAG) cargo division celebrated its tenth anniversary of shipping vital goods and supplies to customers worldwide. Created in 2011 following the merger of Iberia Cargo and British Airways World Cargo in 2011, the group focused on providing a quality service for its global customers.
Since the two outfits came together, IAG’s mission “to always be moving” has seen it become one of the world’s largest cargo operators. Serving critical sectors of the global economy, IAG Cargo transports e-commerce, tech, medical supplies manufacturing automotive and aerospace goods to all four corners of the globe. IAG cargo estimates that it has operated close to a million flights to over 450 destinations during the past ten years while flying a fleet of 30 different aircraft.
IAG Cargo employs 2,250 people
Today, some of the world’s best-known brands choose IAG Cargo to transport their precious cargo. Whether it is artifacts from the British Museum, aircraft parts for Boeing, or COVID-19 vaccines, IAG Cargo is the go-to air freight company.
As of this month, IAG Cargo employs 2,250 people in 60 countries spread across five continents. By integrating Spanish airline Vueling in 2013, Irish carrier Aer Lingus in 2015, and Spain’s budget airline Level in 2016, IAG Cargo has grown substantially. As well as adding more airlines to the group, IAG Cargo has invested in new facilities to increase capacity and become a world leader when it comes to transporting high-security shipments, temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, and live animals.
Ten years is a major milestone
When speaking in a statement celebrating ten years of operations, IAG Cargo Chief Commercial Officer John Cheetham said:
“This is a major milestone for IAG Cargo. It’s been exciting to see the business grow and transform into one of the largest cargo carriers in the world today.
“We’ve built a strong relationship with our customers across the world to understand their needs and adapted our products, as well as launched new products and routes to support them. We’re very proud of our “always moving” spirit to provide some of the most flexible options for customers, helping them get their freight across the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We look forward to continuing to expand our offering in the years to come.”
Highlights of the past ten years
Since its creation, IAG Cargo has seen its fleet increase by 53%, from 348 aircraft in 2011 to 533 in 2020. The fleet also saw some significant upgrades like the introduction of more fuel-efficient aircraft. The Airbus A330-200 and A330-300 joined the fleet in 2013 and 2015 to expand Iberia’s portfolio. At the same time, British Airways saw the arrival of the Boeing 787-8 in 2013 and the 787-9 in 2015. In 2019 British Airways saw the arrival of the Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing’s latest Dreamliner.
Below are some significant milestones from IAG Cargo:
- 2011: Launch of a widebody airbridge between London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD).
- 2012: Launch of a seamless route for customers looking to transport cargo from Hong Kong to Quito, Ecuador.
- 2016: Introduction of a premium product for urgent and emergency shipments “critical”
- 2017: Enhancement of IAG Cargo’s e-booking system allowing customers to book their shipments in under two minutes. It also permitted shipment tracking from the start to end of the journey.
- 2017: Launch of FORWARD.REWARDS, a new customer loyalty program that enabled businesses to earn points towards cargo credits, flights, and hotel stays.
- 2019: Opening of a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical center at Madrid Airport. The center plays a vital role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout while complimenting the Constant Climate center at London Heathrow.
- 2020: The focus on transporting large quantities of PPE, medical equipment testing kits, and sanitizer. Now 2021 sees IAG Cargo at the forefront of COVID-19 vaccine shipments and has joined the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative .
Have you ever shipped something with IAG Cargo? If so, please tell us about how you found the experience in the comments.