Africa Flight Services (AFS), part of Worldwide Flight Services’ (WFS) global airport services group, has been voted ‘Best Cargo Handler of the Year’ for 2016 at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport in the annual ‘Featherer Awards’ for service excellence.
The awards are presented by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), the government-owned airport management company, and the ‘Best Cargo Handler’ winner is selected by freight forwarders using the airport’s cargo services. The criteria for selecting the winner includes customer service and operational excellence, prompt resolution of operational queries, efficient productivity, on-time invoicing, and creditor account resolution. ACSA introduced this award three years ago to recognise cargo stakeholders at their South African airports and 2016 is the first time AFS has been honoured. AFS received their prize at a special ACSA Feather Awards ceremony at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from Ms. Bongiwe Pityi, General Manager of ACSA. Africa Flight Services commenced operations in South Africa at the end of 2014 and now handles more than 40,000 tonnes of cargo a year through its 3,000m² freight centre in Johannesburg, some 14% of the airport’s annual cargo throughput. This includes a 30% increase in export traffic this year. AFS also provides cargo handling services in Cape Town.
This latest recognition for high quality service delivery comes as AFS and WFS see continued growth of their operations in Africa and look for new expansion opportunities, particularly in West Africa. In Nairobi, AFS is now the largest cargo handler, according to data for September 2016. It handled over 54% of the 19.4 million kilos of import and export cargo moving through Jomo Kenyatta Internationaltional Airport during the month.
Barry Nassberg, Group COO of WFS, said: “We are greatly honoured to have earned the ‘Best Cargo Handler’ award in Johannesburg, which is a great tribute to the quality and consistency of service delivered by our local team. Our growth in Nairobi is also very significant for us and we look forward to continuing this in 2017. Our presence in Africa is still relatively small but we have a long-term commitment to the continent and want to grow. We are actively looking for new opportunities, especially in South Africa, and our successes in Johannesburg and Nairobi help to demonstrate the service quality we can deliver and the growth we can support at airports across the region.”