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Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2023, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the seventh year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs more than 7,500 people worldwide, flying customers to 30 destinations across four continents throughout the year.  

Alongside shareholder and Joint Venture partner Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic operates a leading transatlantic network, with onward connections to over 200 cities around the world. In February 2020, Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic launched an expanded Joint Venture, offering a comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers. Virgin Atlantic joined SkyTeam in March 2023 as the global airline alliance’s first and only UK member airline, enhancing the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport.    

Virgin Atlantic has been pioneering sustainability leadership for more than 15 years, committing to Net Zero by 2050 and continuous action that reduces environmental impact. The airline operates one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies and has reduced its absolute carbon emissions by 35% over the last decade. In October 2022, Virgin Atlantic welcomed the first of 16 A330-900neos to the fleet, continuing its transformation towards 100% next generation aircraft by 2027. Later in 2023, Virgin Atlantic led an industry consortium to deliver the first 100% SAF flight across the transatlantic. This demonstrated that 100% SAF can be used safely as a drop in fuel in existing infrastructure, engines and airframes. The need to scale production is an industry imperative and Virgin Atlantic is committed to radical collaboration across the energy chain to support commercialisation ahead of 2030.

The challenge:

Virgin Atlantic was looking for a strategic 4PL provider to support its aspiration of being the airline most loved by their customers. Specifically, the company sought out a supplier to manage and forecast Inflight services, Airport Stationary and Clubhouse, alongside operating a lean warehousing and logistics operation across their global network.

The solution:

SEKO implemented a robust 4PL control tower structure, enabling the Virgin Atlantic team to effectively manage the movement of goods throughout the supply chain. To ensure the company was in the best hands, SEKO appointed a team of subject matter experts with the knowledge and understanding of industry trends and changes in the market. This group of subject matter experts allowed SEKO to maximise Virgin Atlantic’s savings.

SEKO also streamlined Virgin Atlantic’s processes by installing technology, such as a demand and forecasting tool. Utilising this tool, SEKO was able to classify items by demand pattern, create forecasting and demand plans, calculate order parameters, and optimise orders. To provide live visibility of stock on hand and dispatch information, from ‘pick in progress’ to ‘dispatch’, SEKO fully integrated its SEKO 360 Warehouse Management system with Virgin Atlantic.

Utilising the new data available, SEKO moved to a proactive vs. reactive model. The 4PL control tower team took over the management of orders, proactively preventing overstock or understock, which can require costly returns or emergency orders.

The result:

  • 250,000 square-foot UK centralised warehouse,owned by SEKO with a dedicated team. This warehouse provides a secure site and the relevant bond license to handle the movement of alcohol, along with all other onboard consumables and equipment.
  • Dedicated control tower management team with over 30 years experience in airline supply chain, who are committed to providing the best service available possible to Virgin Atlantic. The team responds quickly to accommodate changes in the market, new routes being added to Virgin’s network, aircraft changes, and changes to on-board service provisions, all with a smile!
  • With over 150 offices in more than 60 countries, SEKO has the network, relationships, and local knowledge in place to manage inbound and outbound deliveries within Virgin’s supply chain – FOB, Ex-Works or DDP.
  • Ordering less frequently with better data availability, which reduces number of pallets in the warehouse.

We’re delighted to be continuing our business relationship with SEKO Logistics through 2025. Our brand values, high service standards and quest for continuous improvements and innovation are aligned, ensuring that we both remain customer and service focused.

Andrew Smith Senior Manager, Inflight Services Product Supply Chain at Virgin Atlantic

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