Air Belgium is partnering with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in Johannesburg and Cape Town for the launch of its first services to South Africa.
The airline has awarded a three-year contract to WFS to provide cargo handling for the 1,600 tonnes per annum forecast to be carried onboard its twice-weekly Airbus A330-Neo flights connecting the two prime South African cities with Brussels.
Flights, which commenced on 14 September, will operate on a Brussels-Johannesburg-Cape Town-Johannesburg-Brussels routing, with high volumes of pharma traffic expected into South Africa. Air Belgium will also help to meet demand for cargo capacity for the important perishables market between South Africa and Europe.
“It is an honour for WFS to be selected to partner with Air Belgium for their entry into the South African market. We recognise that the competition in our environment is strong, so to be chosen is a significant achievement. It reflects the quality of our operations in Johannesburg and Cape Town, our specialist pharma handling capabilities, and investments to further improve our operations as well as the high service levels delivered by our people. We look forward to welcoming Air Belgium’s first flight,” said Malcolm Tonkin, Managing Director – South Africa at WFS.
The new contract comes as WFS commences its latest round of infrastructure investments in South Africa. This will see one of its warehouse operations in Johannesburg extended by a further 1,500m² and an increase in WFS’ cold-room and pharma handling capabilities at the airport. WFS operates Good Distribution Practice (GDP) compliant temperature-controlled pharma facilities in both Johannesburg and Cape Town for CRT, COL and ERT shipments.
WFS, which has also signed extended handling agreements in South Africa with United Airlines and Airlink in the last 12 months, handles more than 68,000 tonnes of cargo a year in Johannesburg for 10 airline customers. In Cape Town, WFS’ provides cargo handling for six airlines and 16,500 tonnes per annum.