China Eastern Airlines selects WFS for cargo handling services
China Eastern Airlines has selected WFS to provide cargo handling services for its cargo-only passenger B777 flights into Liege.
The new three-year agreement between the companies will see WFS handling a forecasted 32,000 tonnes of cargo per annum carried onboard up to nine B777 flights a week into the Belgian airport from Yantai Penglai International Airport in China’s Shandong Province.
As well as warehouse operations, WFS will provide ramp handling and warehouse services for the flights.
The length of the agreement comes as a surprise given that passenger-freighter operations have been on the decline as airline networks get back underway.
Meanwhile, China continues to open up following the lifting of Covid restrictions.
However, agreements do have termination clauses and China Cargo Airlines, which China Eastern has a 70% stake in, does operate 13 B777 freighters.
Meanwhile, there have been signs that cargo-only passenger flights may persist in some locations for a while longer if the demand is there – Qatar Airways Cargo recently announced it would operate an Airbus A330 passenger freighter to Penang four times a week.
In total, the Middle Eastern airline operates two A330 mini freighters.
WFS also provides services to the airline at Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Stockholm, and New York JFK.
Nathan De Valck, managing director, WFS Belgium, said: “Having handled charter flights for China Eastern in Liege last summer, we are delighted to have won this opportunity to support the airline’s scheduled cargo-only services to and from Yantai.
“Liege is a very important and growing cargo hub for WFS in Europe, so it is especially pleasing to welcome another long-term WFS partner as a customer at the airport.
“This new route for the airline also shows the resilience of the LGG freighter market and the role WFS is playing in the development of it.”