Speedy WFS team launch European Covid-19 cargo hub at Liege Airport in just 72 hours


Fastest ever opening of a new station to service demand for extra freighters bringing essential medical supplies to the continent

WFS’ ground handling teams have set up an emergency European cargo hub that will boost the supply of life-saving medical aid to hospitals across the continent in just 72 hours.

Cargo handling employees teamed up with Liege Airport Authority to convert a previously unoccupied airside warehouse into a command centre for handling extra freighters carrying coronavirus medical aid into Europe.

Craig Smyth, CEO of WFS, said: “Having more freighter handling capability means medical equipment and supplies will be arriving in hospitals much faster to help both the medical teams and their patients.

He added: “I am extremely proud of everyone involved in this project and of the WFS team globally who are making such a vital contribution to the speed and efficiency of medical supply chains at a time when the world needs these more than ever before.”

WFS drafted in highly trained cargo handling staff from its operation in Brussels to complete the rapid opening of the emergency station.

The operation has achieved full compliance with operational safety and security guidelines, WFS said. Essential equipment, including forklifts, slave masters, slave pallets and a truck dock, have been supplied from nearby WFS stations in both Belgium and the Netherlands.

Smyth commented: “To open an entire cargo handling operation, capable of meeting the very highest safety and security standards, in the space of just three days would be remarkable at any time but, right now, our ability to respond so quickly has even greatest significance because it means Liege has the increased support and expertise it needs to meet demand for all cargo flights.”

WFS said it expected to handle 14 freighters a week from the hub. The specialist facility will boost Liege Airport’s ability to fast-track essential Covid-19 equipment and supplies into Europe according to Bert Selis, VP Commercial Cargo & Logistics at Liege Airport.

“Liege Airport has played a vital role in the provisioning of personal protection equipment (PPE) since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Europe. Additional aircraft movements and the huge growth in the volume of humanitarian goods led us to make this request to WFS for an immediate response to the market needs.”