WFS to buy BARC

WORLDWIDE Flight Services (WFS), is poised to challenge for the number one position in UK cargo handling, with the acquisition of a majority shareholding in British Airways Regional Cargo (BARC).

Air Cargo News has learned that the deal is on schedule to be concluded in early March, as WFS purchases a 60 per cent holding from the owners of Dunwoody Aviation Services. The remaining 40 per cent will remain in the hands of British Airways.

The deal also includes the GSSA activities of BARC, although according to industry sources, this may be rebranded to create two distinct component parts of the business.

The new handling joint-venture between WFS and British Airways will continue to trade as BARC and employees will still be employed by the Dunwoody holding company.

However, it is believed that within time the WFS branding will appear at the airports at which BARC is active.

The question remains as to the reaction of WFS’s current client airlines to the new joint-venture. Industry sources stated that there could be some disquiet, particularly with the venture involving both handling and sales.

Putting aside any conflicts of interest, the deal will give WFS a major presence at the majority of UK airports. The company will also undoubtedly look to use the relationship to become a ‘strategic partner’ for the airline and to cement new handling contracts with BAWC abroad, particularly in the USA.

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