Saturday, November 3, 2012

WFS Wins Freight Handling Contract for BA World Cargo

Airline Outsources to Largest Group in Field
Shipping News Feature

UK - Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has won the contract to provide freight handling facilities for British Airways World Cargo (BAWC) at London’s Gatwick Airport. From the start of next month around half of the existing BAWC team will transfer to WFS at the site whilst the remainder are to be offered positions by the airline at London Heathrow.

WFS is the world’s largest air cargo handling organisation responsible for over four million tonnes of cargo per annum for some 300 airline and airport customers at 120 stations globally and to support the airline’s requirements has acquired a second warehouse facility at Gatwick that will be dedicated to the British Airways World Cargo operation. Ahead of the December start date, WFS is investing to refurbish and upgrade the 30,000 square foot freight centre, including office modernisation, a new container handling system, a 20-foot container lift and fast lanes linking the air and landside areas.

In the last three years, WFS has substantially increased its presence at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, increasing its total warehouse capacity at the two airports to in excess of 300,000 square feet after opening its first cargo centre at Gatwick in September 2011, a 25,000 square foot unit which can now handle up to 50,000 tonnes per annum for clients such as Vietnam Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Monarch Airlines and Leisure Cargo, which represents over 20 airlines in the UK & Ireland, including Thomson.

In 2008, WFS purchased a 60% shareholding in British Airways Regional Cargo from its three founders. British Airways World Cargo holds the remaining 40% of shares. As part of this agreement, WFS took over cargo handling for the airline in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow as well as at other regional airports in the UK and Ireland. Speaking of the new agreement Patrick Roberts, Vice President, UK & Ireland for WFS (pictured) said:

“We are proud that British Airways World Cargo is extending its relationship with WFS, which extends to airport operations around the globe. Our plan is to grow our presence at Gatwick – a key part of our strategic development plan – and this is a long-term commitment. This latest success for us in the UK and Ireland consolidates our leading position in the market at London’s major gateway airports and in the regions.”