Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Freight Handler WFS Snaps Up Etihad LHR Cargo

New Three Year Deal
Shipping News Feature

UK – Even by the standards of a company which operates handling facilities in over 120 worldwide international airports the three year deal which Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has just signed with Abu Dhabi passenger and freight airline Etihad is a sizeable one. WFS already services Etihad’s cargo handling requirements in Paris and now the new contract will see the group handle an estimated additional 33,000 tonnes of air cargo a year for Etihad.

WFS will manage Etihad’s freight handling in its Building 551 cargo terminal in the World Cargocentre at Heathrow. It acquired the lease on the 60,000 tons capacity facility in 2011, reinforcing its position as the largest independent cargo handler at the airport. WFS operate in excess of 250,000 square feet of cargo facilities at Heathrow. Etihad currently operates 21 Airbus A300-600 and A330-300 passenger and cargo flights a week from Heathrow to its Abu Dhabi hub, carrying up to 15 tonnes of freight on each sector.

Last year also saw WFS open its own cargo handling terminal at London Gatwick when it took over the lease of the former Aviance facility at the airport. This 22,000 square foot unit can handle some 40,000 tonnes a year. Cliff McKrell, Operations Director for WFS in the UK, commented:

“This is a substantial new contract for us and follows our success in gaining new agreements with Delta Air Lines, Continental Airlines and Vietnam Airlines last year. All of our airline customers require the highest service levels and we are committed to delivering these consistently with our growing team and facilities at Heathrow. We look forward to continuing to support the growth of all of the airlines we represent.”