IAG Cargo marks 10 years of successful operations

IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG), celebrates its tenth anniversary this month – marking a decade of transporting vital shipments safely and efficiently for customers across the world. IAG Cargo came into existence in 2011 following the merger of British Airways World Cargo and Iberia Cargo, bringing together two distinct brands focused on providing a quality services for their customers to unlock the full potential of their networks. Since then, IAG Cargo’s mission – to be ‘always moving’ – has led it to become one of the largest cargo operators in the world, serving key sectors of the global economy including ecommerce, tech, manufacturing, automotive, pharmaceutical and aerospace. 

In total, in the last decade it is estimated that IAG Cargo has served nearly 14,000 freight forwarders, operated 950,000 flights, transporting millions of tonnes of cargo and flown to over 450 destinations worldwide using 30 models of aircraft.  Today, the business is trusted by some of the world’s best known brands to transport their precious cargo, from ancient artefacts for The British Museum, endangered animals for BornFree, vaccine shipments for Biological E to airplane parts for Boeing.

Today IAG Cargo operates in 60 countries, across five continents and employs more than 2,250 professionals worldwide.

The business has grown significantly in its first ten years – integrating Vueling in 2013, Aer Lingus in 2015 and Level in 2016 to expand its network; invested in new facilities to increase capacity and developed innovative and specialist product offerings in areas like pharmaceutical, live animals and high security shipments.    John Cheetham, chief commercial officer at IAG Cargo 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, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We look forward to continuing to expand our offering in the years to come.”

Highlights: 10 Years of IAG Cargo o Covid-19 – 2020 – IAG Cargo focused on the fight against COVID-19, transporting over 20,000 tonnes of PPE and large quantities of sanitiser, ventilators and COVID-19 testing kits. In 2021, COVID-19 vaccine shipments are a priority shipment, and the business had already transported over one million doses by the end of January and has joined the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to support the COVAX initiative.  

o Facilities – 2019 – IAG Cargo opens its start-of-the-art pharmaceutical centre in Madrid. In its first two years, it processed over 20,000 consignments of pharmaceutical cargo, including life-saving vaccines for diseases such as polio, diphtheria, and measles. The centre complements the Constant Climate centre at London Heathrow that opened in 2013. o Customer – 2017 – IAG Cargo launched a new loyalty programme named FORWARD.REWARDS allowing businesses to earn points every time they ship, converted into commercial flights, hotel stays or cargo credit.

o Digital – 2017 – IAG Cargo enhanced its e-booking portal, offering customers the chance to book shipments in under 2 minutes, and track shipments automatically from the start to the end of the journey. o Product  – 2016 – IAG Cargo launches ‘Critical’ its premium product for urgent and emergency shipments, serviced by its own customer service team – within 6 months of its launch over 1,000 shipments were delivered o Aircraft 2011-2020 – The last ten years has seen the fleet available to IAG Cargo increase by 53 per cent from 348 in 2011 to 533 in 2020. The fleet has also seen significant upgrades, with the introduction of the fuel-efficient A330-200 and A330-300 in 2013 and 2015 to Iberia’s metal, as well as the A350-900 in 2018.

British Airways also saw the Boeing 787 enter service, with the B787-8 in 2013 and B787-9 in 2015, an extra 20 feet and offering more capacity.

In 2019, the A350-1000 was brought on board for BA, while the latest iteration of the Dreamliner joined the fleet in 2020. o HKG-LHR-UIO – 2012 – Launched a seamless route for customers looking to transport cargo from Hong Kong to Quito.

o Wide-body airbridge LHR-MAD – 2011 – Launched a wide-body “Airbridge” between London and Madrid, facilitating a seamless journey for cargo to any corner of the world.

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