British Airways’ new £250 million World Cargocentre will open in January at Heathrow Airport, doubling it’s current capacity to handle freight, mail and courier traffic to 800,000 tonnes a year.
The 83,000 square metres, state-of-the-art centre represents British Airways’ biggest-ever single investment in on-airport facilities and strengthens its position at the heart of world trade.
The new World Cargocentre will be opened in phases. The first customer freight will be handled on January 19, 1999, and the full freight move into the building is expected to be complete within six to nine months. Air mail will transfer into the facility early in the new Millennium.
More than 100,000 man hours of training is being provided for the 1,000 staff who will work in the building, while a new high-tech training suite will enable the airline to ‘beam’ training programmes to all of the airline’s 2,800 cargo staff worldwide. British Airways has invested a further £9 million to equip all 211 stations with bar code scanners and printers and signed new service level agreements with 160 international ground handling agents to enhance shipment and document tracking across its global network.
Bob Ayling, British Airways’ Chief Executive said: “We aim to take advantage of the airline’s unique position at the heart of the world trade. I am especially impressed by the level of support and training being provided for our cargo staff. In the new cargo business, job functions have been developed which focus on personal responsibility and flexibility. These changes will enable us to deliver the quality of service our customers demand and create a platform for British Airways World Cargo to become a truly world class business.”