Alha signs multi-year contract with Cathay at Malpensa

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Alha Group has penned a multi-year contract with Cathay Pacific Airways at Milan Malpensa Airport for the provision of ramp handling services for the carrier’s freighters.

Alha started handling services on 10 October and it will extend the extensive and strong partnership between Alha and Cathay Pacific in Italy.

President Simone Ceruti says Cathay has chosen to extend its Malpensa service supporting a high-profile carrier and focusing on service quality.

“Starting new ramp handling services with a carrier like Cathay Pacific, considered amongst the best airlines in the world, is a reason of great pride for our company; for our organization this new start is a challenge that entails enormous responsibilities and requires significant investments in terms of competence and equipment,” he adds.

Alha’s commitment to start new services has developed on two main fronts: ground support equipment (GSE) and HR.

Alha has set-up a GSE fleet capable to meet the strict operational requirements of the carrier, which operates with very tight turnarounds and has very high performances in terms of load factor.

On the HR side, Alha opted for the creation of a dedicated team of high-qualified ramp specialists.

Alha says Cathay Pacific’s choice of a single supplier for ramp and warehouse services represents an immediate competitive advantage for the airline, thanks to synergic operational coordination: the entire handling process – from truck unloading to aircraft take-off – constitutes a single operational flow, which allows handling timing optimization and inefficiencies minimisation.

Special cargo handling, especially perishable and pharmaceutical products, will benefit dedicated procedures from acceptance to loading and very short transit times between warehouse and aircraft.

Cathay Pacific cargo manager in Italy, Alberto Brandi says: “We choose to entrust Alha with the ramp handling services for our all-cargo flights with the aim of strengthening our position in Malpensa and providing our customers with further efficiency and quality in our services, enhancing Cathay Pacific’s offer for special cargo products.

“While coming from a positive experience with our previous ramp handler, we have decided to adopt a single operator for warehouse and ramp handling services; a natural choice for those who, like us, operate with all-cargo aircraft.

“The entire handling process for goods flying on board our freighters is now fully managed by Alha’s operational structure, in constant contact and coordination with our supervisors; this allows us to work more efficiently and to provide our customers with the most attractive last acceptance times for express, perishable and pharmaceutical products.

“We are closely following the operations during these first weeks of collaboration and we have already been able to detect a streamlining of the process as well as a reduction in handling timings – from truck unloading to aircraft take-off.

“The turnaround of the first Cathay Pacific flights handled by Alha (operated with B747-400F and B747-8F) have already tested our new handler, featuring special loads and some operational complexities: these critical issues were handled with great efficiency by the new team.”