UK Airline Services Handling, part of the Airline Services Group, has won a significant new contract from Canada’s WestJet, an Alberta-based airline, to provide ground-handling services for their newly-launched non-stop international flights from London’s Gatwick Airport to six Canadian cities, effective May 7.
WestJet, which is marking its 20th anniversary this year, is serving Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and St John’s – a total of 28 weekly flights – operated by B767-300s and B737-700s. Vancouver will operate six-times weekly; Edmonton twice weekly; Calgary five times weekly and Winnipeg once a week. Flights from Toronto and St. John’s will operate once daily.
“Being chosen by WestJet, Canada’s highest ranked airline for customer service, is a great win for Airline Services Handling and we are very proud to start work with this established carrier as their ground handling partner at Gatwick and at such an exciting time in the airline’s development,” said Airline Services Handling Sales Director Andy Cruise.
Their Gatwick team have been busy recruiting and training a dedicated WestJet handling team, ‘the WestJetters’ who will provide guest services, ramp handling, baggage services and aircraft grooming. “We are also receiving and commissioning an array of brand new ground support equipment to ensure consistent and robust excellent service delivery standards,” he said.
WestJet is Airline Services Handling’s first North Terminal airline
WestJet becomes the first airline to be looked after by Airline Services Handling at Gatwick’s North Terminal. They join a growing number of airlines being looked after by the company at Gatwick’s South Terminal.
Since the company started ground handling services in November 2014 with launch customer Monarch Airlines ASH has added Germania Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Aurigny, Air Malta and Air Baltic.
Airline Services Handling supports a team of approximately 350 ground handling employees at Gatwick and when added to the aircraft presentation and de-icing teams, it will support a workforce of circa 500 by May. Although a relative newcomer to passenger handling, Airline Services Handling has been active airside for nearly 30 years providing a range of ramp services including de-icing and aircraft presentation – including laundry and dry cleaning, carpet fitting and aircraft washing.
Under the leadership of CEO Mike Humphreys, the Manchester, UK headquartered business employs over 1,000 staff based at 11 airports across the UK.