Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Largest Cargo Handling Group Signs Cooperation Agreement with Italian Group

WFS and ATA Italia in Joint Marketing Venture
Shipping News Feature

ITALY – With air freight growing in the country last year by 1.5% and with expectations of a further 2.5% jump this year Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has signed a co-operative agreement with ATA Italia to jointly market their respective cargo, ramp and passenger ground handling services to airline customers in Italy. The agreement, signed by Olivier Bijaoui, President and CEO of WFS, and Mario Sisto, President of ATA Italia, will enable the two companies to provide a full range of ground handling services to airlines at Italy’s major airports. WFS and ATA Italia will also jointly explore other business development opportunities in Italy.

WFS was founded in 1971 and is a leading global provider of ground handling and technical services, and the world’s largest cargo handler. Today it is present at over 140 major airports in more than 20 countries on five continents. WFS serves 300 airlines globally, handling four million tonnes of cargo and serving 50 million airline passengers per annum. The company employs 10,000 staff worldwide and reported revenues for 2013 of €620 million. Olivier Bijaoui said:

“This is an important agreement for us because it provides an opportunity to increase our presence in the growing air cargo and ground handling markets in Italy and will hopefully lead to further opportunities with ATA Italia. We will offer the best combination of local market knowledge and international expertise and we believe airlines in Italy will find this proposition very appealing.”

ATA Italia was founded in 1996 in the wake of the liberalisation of the Italian ground handling market. It operates from five locations; Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino, Milan Linate, Venezia and Catania and serves over 50 international airlines, including Air France-KLM, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, easyjet, Emirates Airline, Iberia and US Airways. The company handles over 35,000 flights a year and has an annual turnover of some €40 million. Mario Sisto commented:

“A challenging partnership and a fruitful cooperation; this is what we expect by signing such an important commercial agreement. ATA Italia is proud to be a partner of WFS, a world leader in air cargo and ground handling, and we are ready to work and contribute together to open up the great potential of the market in Italy as much as possible. In the same way, thanks to the new alliance, we will look at new opportunities outside of our country and we could not count on a better sponsor. We are sure that our customers and the market in Italy will see a strong benefit from this new agreement.”

In September, WFS was awarded the handling concession for a new 5,000 square metre cargo terminal at Milan Malpensa Airport, part of a major investment programme to increase the airport’s cargo capacity to one million tonnes a year by 2020. Prior to commencing operations in the new cargo centre in early 2016, WFS will invest in excess of €1.8 million to equip the facility with modern handling systems and the necessary logistics infrastructure.