Etihad Airways has awarded its cargo handling contract at London’s Heathrow Airport to Worldwide Flight Services (WFS).
The three-year agreement commences in March 2012 and will see WFS handle an estimated 33,000 tons of air cargo a year for Etihad. WFS also handle cargo for the airline in Paris CDG.
Etihad currently operates 21 Airbus A300-600 and A330-300 passenger and cargo flights a week from Heathrow to Abu Dhabi, carrying up to 15 tons of freight on each sector.
Cliff McKrell, Operations Director for WFS in the UK, said: “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.”
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.
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. WFS now serve Delta Air Lines, Leisure Cargo and Vietnam Airlines at Gatwick.
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) was founded in 1983 and is one of the world’s leading providers of ground handling, cargo handling and technical services. Today it is present at 121 of the world’s major airports in 20 countries. WFS serves 300 airlines globally, including the handling of 3.5 million tonnes of cargo per annum and 50 million airline passengers a year. The company employs 10,000 staff worldwide and reported revenues for 2010 of €580 million.