Press Release


Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) is set for the biggest expansion of its ground handling activities in Europe in over 40 years after being awarded full ground handling licenses to operate at Spain’s Madrid, Seville, Santiago, Oviedo and Vitoria airports.

WFS expects to commence full passenger and ramp services in Madrid, alongside its existing cargo business, and Seville in October in addition to continuing its cargo operations in Barcelona and Valencia. Santiago and Oviedo will join the WFS network in November along with Vitoria. In Vitoria, WFS will provide full ramp handling for freighters only. The new licenses will see WFS making a multimillion euro investment in aircraft and passenger handling equipment and facilities in Spain and will also lead to the employment of hundreds of new personnel at the five airports.

Pablo Garcia, WFS’ Executive Vice President Sales, said: “The ability to combine passenger and ramp services with our well-established cargo operation in Madrid is a game changer for WFS. Winning these new licenses will see the biggest growth in our ground handling operations in Europe since our company was founded in 1971. It represents a perfect example of where our historical strength in cargo handling has earned us the opportunity to become a fullservice provider.”

WFS won the new seven-year licenses following a public tender conducted by Aena, operator of the Spanish airports. A total of 10 ground handlers took part in the bidding process.

This success comes shortly after Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) announced plans to accelerate its growth by exploring more business opportunities and implementing its acquisition strategy under the new ownership of Platinum Equity, a global investment firm with more than $6 billion of assets under management. Olivier Bijaoui, Executive Chairman, President & CEO of WFS, said the company plans to double in size in the next few years through strategic acquisitions in key markets, partnerships and organic growth opportunities.

Emilio Fernandez, CEO Europe at WFS, added: “Spain is a very important country for WFS. It is where we opened our first international station in 1991 and today we can proudly say we are the largest cargo handling organisation in Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona and Bilbao. We are honoured that Aena has shown this high level of confidence and trust in WFS to provide the same high quality of passenger and ramp services. We aim to exceed their expectations and, in doing so, play an important role in the continued growth of the passenger and cargo market in Spain and the positive development of the country’s economy.”