Frankfurt and Madrid added to existing station portfolio in Europe, the United States and Asia

Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, has renewed its global cargo handling agreements with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), the world’s largest air cargo handler, with Frankfurt and Madrid joining six existing gateways in Europe, Asia and the United States.

The three-year framework extension will see WFS continue to provide Etihad Cargo with warehouse and cargo handling services at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington DC’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) in the United States, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), as well as key European gateways at London Heathrow (LHR), Paris-Charles De Gaulle (CDG) and Brussels Airport (BRU). The six airports handle in excess of 120,000 tonnes of Etihad Cargo air cargo annually.

Following the expansion of the above warehouse operations portfolio to include Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas (MAD) in November 2019, WFS will now also begin services at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) from 15 February 2020.

Andre Blech, Head of Operations and Service Delivery at Etihad Cargo, said: “In-line with our commitment to provide service-level excellence and best practices across all stations, the addition of Frankfurt and Madrid to our existing framework WFS further evidences our growing and mutually beneficial collaboration.”

Barry Nassberg, Group Chief Commercial Officer of WFS, added: “Etihad Cargo not only expects the highest quality of handling services for its customers, it also wants these to be delivered consistently at every major airport across its network. To achieve this requires a strong partnership approach. Our global handling framework with Etihad Cargo means WFS is fully engaged with the airline at a corporate level and able to proactively support its drive for the very best cargo and ground handling services. It also demonstrates we have a fully committed, long-term partner which values our handling expertise and is looking to us for innovative and efficient ways to help their business grow.”     

A key part of the framework is a renewed focus on premium products, including temperature sensitive cargo, that are key to Etihad Cargo’s value offering. Having become only the second global carrier to obtain IATA CEIV certifications for both pharmaceutical and perishable logistics, Etihad Cargo’s partnership with WFS enhances its end-to-end cool-chain solutions in the key gateways of Paris and Brussels, where WFS also holds CEIV accreditations for its warehouse operations.

In addition to cargo, WFS provides Etihad Airways with passenger ground handling “above the wing” services at JFK, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Suvarnabhumi (BKK), which have also been extended under the framework agreement.

Having launched an all-encompassing transformation programme in 2018, Etihad Cargo has since witnessed significant change across its fleet and network, evolved its commercial proposition, and overhauled its physical and digital infrastructure. The agreement with WFS is the latest involving infrastructure and warehouse support, and follows a framework signed with Abu Dhabi Airports Company in December 2019 to upgrade its existing facilities at Abu Dhabi International Airport.