WFS and Bangalore International Airport Limited form Partnership


Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has been awarded a 15-year license to operate its first cargo handing operation in India at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport).

WFS, a global air cargo logistics leader, is entering a new partnership with BIAL, which, in May 2023, will assume responsibility for the development, operation, management and maintenance of one of the cargo terminals at India’s third-largest cargo gateway for international import and export cargo. WFS will also operate and invest in expanding the airport’s dedicated Cold Chain Facility.

The cargo terminal awarded to WFS at BLR Airport can handle 210,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of cargo a year. From May 2023, it will be used exclusively by WFS to handle international cargo. In addition, WFS will use its design, build, finance, process reengineering and development experience to reorganise and refurbish the facility to increase its throughput capacity potential to serve cargo volumes in excess of 250,000 MT annually.

As operators of the dedicated Cold Chain Facility at the Airport, WFS and BIAL will begin a two-phase expansion of the dedicated operation, initially doubling its capacity to 80,000 MT per annum before increasing to a throughput capacity in excess of 150,000 MT per annum, post completion of phase 2.

These investments are timed to support India’s next economic growth stage. India, the sixth-largest global economy and one of the fastest-growing large economies, is the single largest provider of generic drugs globally – handling over 50% of total global demand and accounting for 50% of the global vaccine manufacturing market – and boasts one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world.

Craig Smyth, CEO of WFS, describes the partnership with BIAL as a ‘landmark collaboration’ at one of the world’s most exciting air logistics hubs. “WFS has been waiting a long time to establish its own presence in India. We are honoured to have earned this opportunity to work with the very accomplished and ambitious team at BIAL to realise the outstanding potential of BLR Airport. This airport is already very successful, supported by a thriving manufacturing and services industry and a highly skilled regional workforce. To this, WFS will add our highest international standards for safety, security and operational excellence, our ability to invest in optimising and expanding BLR Airport’s cargo infrastructure, and our global relationships with airlines and freight forwarders,” he said.

Barry Nassberg, WFS’ Group Chief Commercial Officer, added, “few airports in the world combine the growth generators we see in Bengaluru, making this long-term partnership with BIAL a big step in our expansion in Asia. This premier airport understands its potential and recognises the way to achieve its growth ambitions is to work with an industry-leading global partner like WFS. Together, BIAL and WFS will work to sustain long-term growth and achieve the airport’s goal of creating a robust ecosystem that can cater for up to one million tonnes of cargo a year.”

Speaking of the partnership, Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy & Development Officer, BIAL, said, “We welcome this opportunity to partner with a world-leading global cargo handling organisation such as WFS – this will support us in strengthening our position as the preferred cargo gateway in South India. With this partnership, BLR Airport can offer our customers more modern and efficient facilities. With these improvements, we are confident about growing our cargo volumes and services even more rapidly to meet demand.”

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Ryan is the Digital Marketing and Content Creation Manager for Trade and Logistics Siam Ltd. He provides a creative flair to the team and his resourcefulness helps to bring an imaginative improvement to both literary archetypes and online content production. A writer by day and a rider by night, when he's not composing the latest logistics news update or creating compelling copy for our clients, Ryan spends his free time travelling Thailand by motorbike.