Virgin Atlantic To Operate “Freighter” Flights To Frankfurt

Virgin Atlantic is set to operate freighter flights between London and Frankfurt from Sunday. The twice-a-week flights will depart from London Heathrow, with a Boeing 787 completing the short hop to Frankfurt. It won’t be the first time a British Dreamliner has been seen in Germany’s aviation capital over the past year.

Virgin Atlantic, Frankfurt Airport, Cargo Flights
Virgin Atlantic is set to launch twice-weekly cargo flights to Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

We’ve seen some exciting flights at Frankfurt since the start of the pandemic. Right away, interesting arrivals were seen in the form of Air New Zealand Boeing 777s. In the months since, Dreamliners from Bamboo Airways and Qantas have joined these. However, another airline is set to start flying the Dreamliner to Frankfurt.

Virgin Atlantic cargo flights

From Sunday, Virgin Atlantic is to start flying the 787 on one of its shortest routes yet. On Tuesdays and Sundays, the aircraft will complete the short hop from London Heathrow to Frankfurt and back. Although, this won’t be an ordinary service. Instead, the aircraft will solely be filled with cargo, while passengers will be non-existent.

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According to the publication Cargo Forwarder, Virgin’s 787 Dreamliners will head to CargoCity South upon arrival, where Swissport will handle the flights. Space onboard the service is being sold by a company called Kales Airline Services.

Virgin Atlantic, Frankfurt Airport, Cargo Flights
The company selling the cargo space would rather an A350 operated the route. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

While they are happy with the Boeing 787, they told the publication that they’d rather see the A350 in Frankfurt due to its larger cargo capacity, and we here at Simple Flying would too! Virgin is also flying freight to and from Milan and Brussels.

Talking to Cargo Forwarder, the CEO of Kales Group, Sebastiaan Scholte, said,

“It is great to see that we are expanding our existing partnership with Virgin Atlantic through these online flights to and from FRA. We are sure to make this much-needed online service a joint success for the German market”

A major cargo hub

Frankfurt Airport is a massive hub for cargo within Europe. This has become especially true due to the high demand for cargo transportation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the airport sees many flights to and from China each day dedicated to shifting cargo worldwide.

However, it’s not just cargo to and from China that is handled at the hub. Increasingly, Frankfurt has played a role in getting goods to and from the UK. Last year British Airways substituted the Airbus A320 family with the Boeing 787 on the Frankfurt route and many others several times for the sole purpose of utilizing its cargo capacity.

Virgin Atlantic, Frankfurt Airport, Cargo Flights
The COVID-19 pandemic caused little trouble for Frankfurt’s cargo business. Graph: Simple Flying

When fears of the UK’s COVID-19 variant closed many borders at the end of 2020, Frankfurt was the starting point for a shipment of fruit and vegetables designed to relieve feared food shortages in the UK. While Frankfurt suffered in 2020 from a passenger view, from a Cargo point of view, it ended the year better than in 2019.

Are you excited to see Virgin Atlantic launching cargo flights to Frankfurt? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!