Virgin Atlantic Cargo has awarded a new and extended general sales and service agency contract to InterGlobe Air Transport (IGAT) in India as indicators project a 6-7% growth in the country’s airfreight market in 2015, boosted by the upturn in the U.S. economy, one of India’s biggest trading partners.

The new contract follows an extensive tender process and in addition to extending its 12-year working partnership with Delhi-based IGAT for cargo sales, Virgin Atlantic has also awarded IGAT with the GSSA contract for the airline’s VEX courier express product to streamline the sales process with customers in India.

2015-01-20-Neil-Vernon-Virgin-Atlantic-CargoNeil Vernon, Virgin Atlantic’s VP Sales APAC, said: “India is a very important air cargo market and one we have been proud to serve for nearly 15 years. As well as carrying a wide range of shipments from India to major regions of the UK and Ireland, our fast connections over London mean customers in India also use Virgin as their preferred carrier to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Washington and Atlanta and we expect to see these volumes increase as a result of the improvements in the U.S. economy. We wish to acknowledge the great support we have received from Patel On-Board Couriers in India in selling our courier service since 2009 and wish them every success in the future.”

Siddhanta Sharma, CEO & President, and Mahesh Malik, Vice President Cargo at InterGlobe Air Transport expressed their delight at the extension of the GSSA contract by Virgin Atlantic Cargo and believe that this opportunity will further cement the longstanding partnership between Virgin Atlantic Cargo and InterGlobe. “The IGAT team are very excited with the additional responsibility to sell the VEX courier product of Virgin Atlantic Cargo in India,” Mahesh Malik said. Aminder Singh Bal, the company’s National Manager Cargo for India, said the extended contract delivered greater synergy for growing the airline’s business in India.

Virgin Atlantic’s daily Airbus A330 flight from Delhi to London Heathrow offers some 14 tonnes of cargo capacity a day. Regular shipments on the route include garments and handicrafts, carpets, perishables, medical goods, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and electrical equipment, as well as personal effects. Freight for the Delhi flights mainly originates from India’s manufacturing hubs such as the National Capital Region (NCR) and areas such as Kanpur-Badohi, Agra, Moradabad, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Panipat and industrial belts in states such as Uttarakhand & Himachal Pradesh.

The new GSSA contract comes as Virgin prepares to withdraw operations on its Mumbai route at the end of January. “We are extremely grateful to the customers that have supported us in Mumbai for the last two years and we look forward to continuing to work with some of these companies who also fly their cargo with Virgin Atlantic out of Delhi,” added Neil Vernon.

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