Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has won the contract to provide cargo handling for British Airways World Cargo (BAWC) at London’s Gatwick Airport.

The new contract, effective December 1st 2012, will see approximately half of the airline’s cargo team at Gatwick transfer to WFS, the world’s largest air cargo handling organisation which handles over four million tonnes of cargo per annum for some 300 airline and airport customers at 120 stations globally. The remaining members of the BAWC staff at Gatwick will be offered positions by the airline at London Heathrow.

In support of the agreement, WFS 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.

Patrick Roberts, Vice President, UK & Ireland for WFS 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.”

WFS opened its first cargo centre at Gatwick in September 2011 and now handle cargo for Vietnam Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Monarch Airlines and Leisure Cargo, which represents over 20 airlines in the UK & Ireland, including Thomson. The 25,000 square foot WFS facility at Gatwick has a capacity to handle up to 50,000 tonnes per annum.

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.     

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.

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