RwandAir has appointed WFS as its cargo handling partner in Paris and Swissport has formed a new joint venture at Düsseldorf Airport
RwandAir, the flag carrier airline of Rwanda, has appointed Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) as the cargo handling partner for its new direct flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle.
The airline is now connecting Paris and Rwanda’s capital Kigali with three non-stop Airbus A330 flights a week, its first-ever direct service to France. The new route is RwandAir’s 25th destination.
WFS will provide full cargo handling services for RwandAir, supporting the airline’s freight forwarding customers and its GSA partner in France, Network Airline Services (NAS). There will be three a week, providing the only direct air service between the two countries.
Speaking at the launch of the new route, Yvonne Makolo, RwandAir’s Chief Executive, said: “We are excited and proud to celebrate the start of RwandAir’s new three-times-a-week service to Paris from Kigali. We look forward to growing our presence in the French market as we continue to expand our international route network and connect Africa with Europe and more overseas destinations.”
Laurent Bernard, Vice-President Cargo France at WFS, commented: “RwandAir is another prestigious airline client for WFS in France and we are proud to have been chosen to support its ambitious growth strategy, connecting Paris with the heart of Africa. RwandAir is recognised for its on-time performance, customer service, and safety and these reflect WFS’ own core values. We look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Swissport completes Düsseldorf deal
Swissport Deutschland and Flughafen Düsseldorf have successfully closed the transaction for their cargo joint venture at Düsseldorf Airport.
The new joint venture, named Swissport DUS Cargo Services, started operations on 17 August 2023. Following the signing of binding agreements earlier in the year, Swissport has successfully closed the acquisition of a 74.9% stake in Flughafen Düsseldorf Cargo, the cargo handling unit of Düsseldorf Airport.
“To complement its strong organic growth, Swissport is pursuing an ambitious M&A agenda that includes being an active consolidator in the aviation services industry as well as entering into partnerships and joint ventures globally,” said Pablo von Siebenthal, Swissport’s Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions.
“In our conversations with airports and airlines around the world we see great interest from them in either selling or partnering with us for their own ground or cargo handling operations,” said von Siebenthal. “They realize that as the leading aviation services company in the world, Swissport is their best partner.”
The Düsseldorf joint venture aligns with Swissport’s global M&A plan, aimed at reinforcing its global presence across several business lines and its role as the industry leader.
With the three largest global players sharing less than 40% of the global market, interesting potential for further consolidation remains.
Swissport has been driving consolidation since its foundation in 1996 and continues to shape the industry, exemplified by traditional take-overs like Aerocare with operations at 35 airports in Australia and in New Zealand in 2018 and the strategic acquisition of Alitalia’s ground handling unit at Rome-Fiumicino Airport in Italy in 2022.
“The start of our joint operations in Düsseldorf is a moment of joy for Swissport Germany,” said Bruno Stefani, Swissport’s Chief Executive for Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy.
“It shows our commitment to the German market and solidifies our position in Düsseldorf and across Germany and sets the stage of further growth. Across Germany, Swissport supports airlines from all over the world with a wide range of services including ground services, cargo handling and aviation fuelling,” concluded Stefani.