Part 3: Celebrating 10 years of IAG Cargo: loyalty launches and supporting the fight against COVID-19

In the final article of this three-part series, we look back at the moments that have defined IAG Cargo over the last decade, from mergers, acquisitions and a world-class new facility, to a boundary-breaking rebrand, loyalty launches and most recently, business pivots brought on by the outbreak of Covid-19.


In 2017, IAG Cargo launched FORWARD.REWARDS, its loyalty programme for small and medium sized forwarders. On a mission to make freight forwarding more rewarding, businesses earn points each time they ship, which can then be redeemed for flights, hotel stays or cargo credit. Customers can easily manage their points and redemptions from one central dashboard.

Because true dedication deserves to be treated differently, in 2020, the programme debuted FORWARD.PLATINUM, designed to reward its top customers with personalised incentives. Of the launch, Head of Marketing and External Communications Matthew Gardiner said: “FORWARD.PLATINUM will enable IAG Cargo to keep rewarding its customers as they grow, providing a seamless transition from the gold tier of the award-winning FORWARD.REWARDS programme.”

IAG Cargo delivers solutions in response to Covid-19

March 2020 saw the outbreak of Covid-19, when industries across the globe ground to a halt. The IAG Cargo team responded quickly at the start of the pandemic, offering customers a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights and even set up a new charter team. Between June and August, the group completed its 100th cargo-only flight on routes between London and Hong Kong, India, and Johannesburg, marking a milestone in the carrier’s capacity to maintain trade flows for its customers. The group’s new charter service flew more than 1,000 flights in 2020, and during its busiest period flew more than 60 charters per week. 2020 also saw IAG Cargo transport over 20,000 tonnes of PPE including gowns, gloves and facemasks.

Transporting life-saving vaccines

IAG Cargo’s cold chain product Constant Climate has been instrumental in the secure movement of Covid-19 vaccines. IAG Cargo has already moved millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines through its pharmaceutical hubs in London Heathrow, Madrid Barajas and Dublin Airport and has now delivered to many parts of the world including the Canary Islands, Ireland, El Salvador and Mexico. We delivered Melilla’s first doses on an Air Nostrum from Malaga. IAG Cargo has also committed its support to the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative, in support of the COVAX initiative – the global effort aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines ­– which will see IAG Cargo support the delivery of vaccines, essential medicines, medical devices and other critical supplies to respond to the pandemic.

John Cheetham, Chief Commercial Officer at IAG Cargo said: “I am delighted that we are supporting with the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines around the world. Transporting the vaccine represents the latest effort in our ongoing work to support the fight against Covid-19. Since the start of the pandemic in March, over three quarters of our 1,000 charters in 2020 were used to transport thousands of tonnes of crucial medical supplies, PPE and ventilators.

“We remain committed to continuing to offer our expertise to help support the fight against Covid-19 during 2021.”

Interest piqued? Read parts 1 and 2.