Virgin Atlantic operated its first cargo charter this week carrying medical supplies.

The VS698 flew from Heathrow to New York JFK filled with 12,490 kilograms of medicines and equipment.

Virgin said with so many flights cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, there had been a dramatic decrease in cargo space available on commercial routes.

Every year, Virgin Atlantic transports over 200,000 tonnes of cargo on its global network, but this is the first time Virgin has operated a cargo-only charter flight. More are planned to take off this week to the US and the Far East.

Managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, Dominic Kennedy, said: “Watching Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural cargo-only charter take off yesterday at London Heathrow added to a feeling of immense pride towards the herculean effort of our Cargo team.

“Making the flight happen, in such short notice and in such challenging times, reaffirms the fact that we have one of the best teams in the sky supporting supply chains across the globe.”