IAG Cargo hopes a new UK-South Africa Boeing 777-200 winter service will be boosted by the African country’s growing perishables market.
The service between Gatwick and Cape Town will operate three times each week and supplements an Airbus 330-300 Madrid-Johannesburg service, due to start August 1, and the existing London Heathrow-Cape Town and Johannesburg services.
The new service will cover the winter period and launches on November 24.
IAG said the extra capacity would benefit from the buoyant perishables market in Africa. Over the past 12 months IAG Cargo has seen volumes of mangoes, avocadoes and pineapples, as well as floriculture continue to perform extremely well out of South Africa.
“The new Cape Town route brings total flights to the country from both IAGâ€™s London and Madrid hubs to 27 per week by the end of the year, offering customers a weekly lift of up to 440 tonnes into South Africa,” IAG said.
Figures from the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) show that the Middle East, the European Union (EU) and the US were major importers from South Africa last year.
The PPCEB 2015 annual report recorded bullish year-on-year export volume performances in avocados which increased by 26% and citrus which saw 2 percent growth.
In total, 55% of South Africaâ€™s subtropical fruit including avocados, mangoes, pineapples, and passion fruit was exported to the EU last year.