Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has appointed Ray Wood as head of cargo bringing with him over 20 years’ experience in the airline air freight sector and he is looking to build on strong tonnage growth posted in recent years.
Wood joins DSA from Virgin Atlantic where he was regional sales manager for cargo. Prior to that, he spent four years at IAG Cargo and 14 years at Lufthansa Cargo.
He joins the team at a key time for the airport as it reports a record year with 42 per cent growth in tonnage and a number of new contract-wins since taking the cargo operation in-house in April 2018.
The airport has also seen new infrastructure and facilities delivered including a 50,000 sq ft transit shed facility, a fourfold increase in its capacity.
DSA aviation development director, Chris Harcombe said: “Our cargo business is a critical part of our long-term growth plan and Ray’s appointment as Head of Cargo recognises this.
“He is responsible for the commercial and operational development of our cargo business and will build upon the excellent progress we have made in recent years. We’re thrilled to have him on board and are already benefiting from his knowledge, experience and network.
“The airport has a diverse client base and continues to invest in people, processes and facilities increasing capacity and capability, which is a key step in the delivery of our Masterplan, published last year. This investment makes DSA a credible alternative to congested airports in the UK and the continent, which has led to us attracting new operators to the airport”
The airport is reporting record full-year cargo throughput levels for 2018/2019 at 18,000 tonnes, increasing by 42 per cent from 12,600 tonnes in 2017/2018.
The airport’s Masterplan targets doubling throughput to 40,000 tonnes per annum by 2022/2023, through increasing scheduled freighter traffic, developing existing relationships and growing the client base. The long-term strategy predicts throughput increasing to 200,000 tonnes per annum.
Throughput has continued to grow at DSA since 2012 and it established its first scheduled freight services in 2017, with an initial handling of three 747 aircraft per week transporting perishable goods for the UK supermarket network, now increasing to six for the summer season.
Wood said: “I’m really happy to be here, as the role is unique in as much that the airport has insourced its cargo handling operations as well as attracting new operators to the airport. The opportunity of being able to build upon a fresh cargo operation, with some early successes under its belt was very attractive to me.
“DSA is positioned as a freighter-friendly airport, and customer feedback is very positive. It’s invested in the team, doubling the headcount to offer enhanced capacity and flexibility offering a 24/7 operation to our customers.”
He added: “DSA is well located to support the cargo needs of the UK, centrally located and connected to the motorway network with regional strengths in logistics.
“With 24/7 availability we have no slot constraints and offer full long-haul capability. There is significant potential to establish DSA as a major logistics hub within the Global Innovation Corridor, with 3M sq ft of development space for multimodal logistics facilities, making us a very attractive proposition.”