IAG Cargo Ferried 50 Tonnes Of Cargo Between Mumbai And London

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The cargo division of the International Airlines Group (IAG), aptly named IAG Cargo, has set a company record for freight transported on a single flight from India. The record-setting flight was flown by a Boeing 777-300 going from Mumbai to London with 50,026 kilograms (55 US tons) of mixed products, including fruits and vegetables, pharmaceuticals, and courier items.

IAG Cargo British Airways 777-300
IAG Cargo operations are often integrated with the passenger flights of IAG member airlines. Photo: IAG Cargo

“In August, IAG Cargo completed its 200th cargo-only flight out of India since May – a major milestone for the business and a testament to its work to keep vital goods moving in and out of the country during the pandemic.”

The record-setting flight

IAG Cargo has set a new record for most cargo flown on a single flight from India. A Boeing 777-300ER operated the flight sometime in September – IAG Cargo has not disclosed the date.

With the flight going from Mumbai to London and the company’s press release showing a photo of a British Airways 777, the aircraft was likely operating as BA138. British Airways operates a daily service between the two major cities, consistently using a Boeing 777-300ER.

BA138 mumbai london
BA138 flies from Mumbai to London daily. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

The flight from Mumbai to London typically takes just over nine hours to complete and departs just before 02:00 local time every day. While it’s scheduled time of arrival in London is 07:05 local time, it consistently lands 15 to 20 minutes earlier than this.

About the aircraft

According to the company, the 777-300s that are part of IAG Cargo operations are also part of IAG member, British Airways. There are 12 -300s that the company utilizes for its cargo activity.

Typically, IAG Cargo’s 777-300 would carry 25.2 tonnes consisting of four AKE-style ULDs, (unit load devices) and nine PAG-format pallets. This is in addition to 297 passengers. Clearly, the record-setting flight was operating beyond what is a typical flight.

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IAG Cargo says that the large amount of highly dense engineering goods, destined for Europe and North America, were the items that really made the difference on weight. Capacity on the aircraft was optimized by “carefully planning the weight and volume on the ULDs.”

British Airways, Boeing 787, Athens
British Airways’ 787 Dreamliners are also listed as being part of IAG Cargo’s fleet. Photo: British Airways

It should be noted that IAG Cargo simply lists the passenger aircraft of its member airlines as its own fleet – indicating that most of its activity typically takes place in the hold of passenger flights, rather than dedicated freighters.

An important key to continuing economic activity

Speaking about the achievement, Area Commercial Manager for South Asia, Ankush Chawla at IAG Cargo highlighted the vital support its air cargo division has provided to its customers since the start of the global crisis. The group was “one of the first airlines to offer dedicated charter and cargo-only flights.” 

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Since the start of the pandemic, IAG Cargo has established a network of over 340 scheduled cargo-only flights per week. It now operates daily services out of Mumbai and Delhi and multiple weekly services out of Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad.

The company offers cargo-only and charter flights and has reconfigured many of its aircraft to maximize cargo capacity for its customers.

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