ECS benefits from Africa West

Following its acquisition of a majority shareholding in Africa West Airlines European Cargo Services (ECS) has seen the airline achieve substantial growth in cargo volumes between Europe and Africa.

In the first year of the extended partnership between Africa West and ECS, the airline relocated its European hub from Ostend to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and appointed Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), as its handling partner. It also signed an agreement with a new supplier, Atlas Air, to provide twice-weekly Boeing 747 freighter capacity from The Netherlands to the airline’s African hub in Lome. These services, departing Schiphol every Thursday and Sunday, provide 100 tons of capacity per flight.

With the support of ECS, Africa West has extended its existing fleet of two An-12 freighters based in Lome with the addition of a 45 tonnes capacity Il-76F. From its hub in the capital of Togo, Africa West has scheduled daily services to points across Central and West Africa, including Abidjan, Bamako, Brazzaville, Malabo, Niamey, Ouagadougou and Pointe-Noire, moving some 8,000 tonnes of air cargo annually.

With its enhanced operating infrastructure and fleet in place, Africa West has increased its sales activities across Europe through closer ties with GSA, Globe Air Cargo.

Guy Tordjman (above), president of ECS, said: “The ECS and Africa West management teams are delighted with the progress that has been made in the past 12 months and we expect this growth trend to continue for the whole of 2008. We have improved the airline’s schedule and reliability and incorporated greater flexibility to satisfy specific customer requests. Having listened to the needs of our freight forwarding customers and made the operational changes to support their requirements, we have been rewarded with regular support for the Africa West routes. The addition of the Il-76 alongside the 18 tons capacity An-12s, has also extended the size and volume of cargo we can now deliver and created the opportunity to offer new charter operations in the region.”

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