Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a Member of the SATS Group, has signed handling contracts with 20 global airlines since opening its first cargo terminal in India at the end of May.
The world’s largest air cargo handler has commenced a 15-year license to operate an international cargo handing operation at Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (BLR) in partnership with BIAL, Bangalore International Airport Limited. New airline customers for WFS Bengaluru Private Ltd (WFSBPL) in India have signed contracts of between 3-5 years to benefit from the organisation’s international standards of safety, security, and service.
In Bengaluru, the third largest and fastest-growing cargo hub in India, WFS employs some 700 staff at two facilities, currently offering an annual throughput capacity of 120,000 tonnes. This will rise to 250,000 tonnes per annum following refurbishment. WFS is responsible for the development, operation, management, and maintenance of the operations, which include the only dedicated Cold Chain Facility at the airport.
WFS aims to use its design, build, finance, process reengineering and development capabilities to optimise and grow cargo capacity in Bengaluru. It also has a two-phase plan to significantly increase the size of the Cold Chain Facility, initially doubling its capacity to 80,000 MT and, later, boosting throughput to over 150,000 MT per annum in acknowledgement of India’s leading positive in the global pharmaceutical and healthcare markets.
To improve operational productivity, WFS has already introduced new forklift equipment and cargo tugs in Bengaluru, including new generation electric vehicles in support of its ESG global sustainability commitment. Other automation and digitization systems will also be adopted by WFS in India to increase productivity and operational visibility.
“After a great deal of planning and preparation, it was an honour for WFS to commence its first-ever operations in India in Bengaluru at the end of May and we are proud to have already won so many important airline customers. It is a tribute to our local teams, partners and stakeholders, as well as colleagues from other WFS & SATS stations around the world, who assisted in our launch, that we have achieved such a smooth operational transition,” said Manish Agnihothri, CEO of WFS Bengaluru Private Limited.
“Our goal from the outset has been to bring our international cargo handling expertise into the Indian market and to add value for India’s air cargo community stakeholders., we aim to play an important role in helping Bengaluru realise its air cargo growth ambitions,” added John Batten, WFS’ Chief Executive Officer EMEAA.
Raveen Pinto, Vice President – Aviation Business, BIAL said: “BIAL is pleased to announce that WFS, a leading global company in ground handling and cargo services, has joined our airport community as one of the two cargo terminal operators. This partnership is exciting as WFS will leverage its international experience and best practices to enhance our airport cargo operations and make them more efficient and smoother. We are eager to grow and thrive together in the future as the preferred gateway of the region.”