Partnership with Wizz Air sees Menzies expand presence in Middle East and Europe

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Menzies Aviation has been awarded a contract by ultra-low-fare airline, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, to provide a range of ground handling services at Kuwait International Airport.

The agreement marks Menzies’ first contract with the airline outside of Europe and builds on the two companies’ existing relationship which spans several European cities including London, Budapest, Prague, Cluj, Timisoara, Iasi and Sibiu.

“We are pleased to be expanding our relationship with Wizz Air with this new Wizz Air Abu Dhabi contract in Kuwait,” said Charles Wyley, Executive VP Middle East, Africa and Asia, Menzies Aviation. “It demonstrates the confidence Wizz Air has in the ability of the Menzies team to provide a safe, secure and consistent quality service.”

As part of the new contract Menzies will deliver ramp, passenger, security and ticketing services for seven flights a week for the LCC.

Menzies has also secured a new European location with Wizz Air in Nice, where it will provide passenger ramp services for more than 1,800 flights per year.

Wyley conclude: “We look forward to continuing to grow our relationship with Wizz Air in the region and beyond.”

Key cargo hubs in US to benefit from $31m FAA investment

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Nine cargo hubs in the US are to benefit from more than $31m in grants from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  The funding has been awarded to expand cargo infrastructure  and help expedite the movement of goods throughout the country.

US Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, commented: “Every day we rely on goods transported through our nation’s airports. [This] announcement will make improvements at airports across our country so they can handle cargo more efficinetly and help strengthen America’s supply chains.”

The airports set to benefit from the funding Chicago Rockford Airport in Illinois, Huntsville Airport in Alabama, Greenville-Spartanburg Airport in South Carolina, Bishop Airport in Flint, Michigan, Ted Stevens Anchorage Airport in Alaska, Seattle-Tacoma Airport in Washington, Eugen F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport in Ohio, Stockton Metropolitan Airport in California and Rhode Island T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island. The airports will all benefit from various funding amounts with work including rehabilitation of runways and cargo aprons, construction of new airport facilities, maintenance of airfield elements such as lighting or signage and the purchase of equipment needed to operate and maintain airports.

Funding for the projects comes from the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) during FY2022.

Aviogei presents green ground services solutions during GSE EXPO

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Aviogei Airport Equipment, the Italian GSE manufacturer, has returned from a successful GSE Expo in Paris where it was exhibiting its latest technological and product innovations, which included new solutions to support initiatives to decarbonise the ground handling sector, including alternative energy sources such as solar powered technologies, hybrid and electric vehicles and next-generation batteries.

Situated in the outdoor area of the exhibition space at Paris Le Bourget, Aviogei shared its 400m2 stand with Avio Green Services, which is owned by the same company.

With its equipment present in more than 180 airports in 110 countries worldwide, Aviogei used the show, which took place 13-15 September, to present a small-scale prototype of its hydrogen hybrid powertrain for GSE. The project has been developed in collaboration with the industrial electronics laboratory of the electrical and information engineering department of the University of Cassino and Southern Latium.

“The collaboration with the University of Cassino dates back to 2013, they year in which we designed the first hydrogen-powered vehicle,” said Franco Cesarini, President of Aviogei. He added that now the company intends to “consolidate our leadership position in the development and implementation of green solutions to accelerate the energy transition and allow our partners to achieve the challenging objectives of decarbonisation of their activities.”

Meanwhile, Professor Marignetti of the University of Cassino and Southern Latium, added: “Our researchers immediately believed in the effectiveness of the use of fuel cells for applications relating to vehicular traction and the production of electricity. The University of Cassino has always supported a policy focused on the diffusion of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy vector, the collaboration with Aviogei for industrial research projects on this issue dates back over a decade.”

AviAssist launches new course for Africa’s ground handling industry

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AviAssist has launched a new product for Africa’s ground handling industry to help address one of the main threats to safety identified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The new online course on Aeronautical Knowledge for Ground Handling was announced during the 6th Aviation Africa summit, which took place 12-13 September in Kigali, Rwanda.

AviAssist worked with NAC2000 – the only IATA (ISAGO) certified ground handler in Zambia to develop the course as well as industry experts in the Netherlands. Jonathan Lewis, NAC 2000 Managing Director commented: “It is difficult and expensive to continuously train new staff members at both operational and mid management levels.”

He added that, “Many skilled employees have left the industry and are not coming back. Recruiting, training and accrediting new staff can take up to six months. So, it is critical that we retain current staff and find more efficient ways of onboarding new personnel. This course takes away some of the pain for us of onboarding new staff and will help us retain staff too.”

The blended learning course, which was tested by new and experienced ground handling staff in four African countries, consists of curated videos that are watched on demand over a two-week period. The videos are complemented with assessor led live sessions during which participants are assessed for their knowledge. Combined the two elements provide an appreciation of the risks and safety components related to the daily working environment at the airport.  The course modules include human factors, dangerous goods, airside safety, container and pallet inspection and aircraft performance with weight and balance.

Speaking at Aviation Africa, Tom Kok, Director of AviAssist said: “We are thrilled that sponsoring of the course by Willis Towers Watson and aircraft manufacturer ATR enabled us to keep the price point for this course low at US$99 per person with a special 25% discount available to Aviation Africa visitors. That means it’s also accessible to smaller handlers and even individuals keen to develop their resume.”

Keeping the cost of the course down also means employers can benefit from affordable induction training which will also help motivate staff and outline further professional development opportunities.

The first intake for the course is on 1 November.

Menzies Aviation expands operations in Australia

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Aviation logistics specialist, Menzies Aviation, has secured its first engineering contract in Australia  with long-term customer, LATAM Airlines.

Under the agreement, Menzies will provide a full suite of engineering services to LATAM at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport in and Auckland International Airport in Australia.

The aviation logistics specialist already provides engineering for other domestic and international, narrow and wide body airlines at Macau International Airport, Auckland International Airport, Christchurch Airport, Wellington Airport and Hamilton Airport, however, this latest contract marks the first piece of engineering business with LATAM across the entire Menzies Aviation network. It also marks a milestone for the company as it plans to grow its engineering services throughout Australia, New Zealand and South-east Asia. It will also expand its engineering services to Queenstown Airport by the end of 2022.

“We have built a strong relationship with [LATAM] in Latin America, which has assisted with the growth of the partnership through this extension in Australia and New Zealand,” said Alistair Reid, Executive VP Oceania, South-east Asia and China, Menzies Aviation.

“Not only does this contract mark a significant expansion of our services for LATAM but introduced our engineering offering to Australia. This milestone paves the way for the growth of our engineering capability across the region in the coming years.”

Air bp introduces next-gen all-electric refueller at Brisbane Airport

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Aviation fuel supplier, Air bp, has unveiled its next-generation all-electric refueller at Brisbane Airport in Australia.

The electric refueller, which uses Lithium-Ion batteries and digital charging mechanisms making it the first all-electric hazardous goods vehicle and refueller approved for use in Australia, can be used by customers lifting Jet-A1.

Capabable of carrying 16,000 litres of fuel, the refueller has been designed to operate for a full day with overnight charging. Air bp also anticipates that it will reduce bp’s operation and maintenance costs when compared with similar diesel-fuelled refuellers.

Daniel Tyzack, Managing Director, Air bp Asia Pacific, said: “We are delighted to launch the refueller at Brisbane Airport where we are responsible for fuelling 30 airlines and approximately 100 flights daily. Our work reflects bp’s ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get to net zero by working with our customers to help decarbonise fuelling operations.

The refueller was manufactured in collaboration with SEA Electric, a specialist in e-mobility solutions and Refuel International, a global manufacturer and supplier of specialised refuelling vehicles, equipment and support services to the aviation industry.

Tony Fairweather, CEO and Founder SEA Electric commented: “By successfully producing our first SEA 500 aircraft refuelling truck complete with an SEA-Drive 120-35 fully electric power system, we have opened up an entirely new application that helps set the standard for environmental credentials.”

Meanwhile, Geoff Pinner, General Manager for Refuel International said: “We are proud to have developed Australia’s first all-electric aviation refueller in partnership with Air bp and SEA. Refuel International have been Air bp’s builder of choice in Australia for over twenty years and this relationship has led to this significant achievement. This refeuller delivers to the aircraft with zero fuel consumed and zero tail pipe emissions, whilst meeting the requisite levels of safety and regulatory compliance.”

The introduction of the refueller in Brisbane, builds on Air bp’s experience in launching the world’s first electric refueller in 2022 at Long Beach California and its introduction of the first generation of electric hydrant dispensers at Brisbane Airport in 2025; which are still in operation at Darwin and Perth airports.

Menzies Aviation acquires a 70% stake in two Serbia and Montenegro ground service companies

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Menzies Aviation has announced that it will acquire a 70% stake in two ground services companies based in Montenegro and Serbia – Fly Montenegro Ground Handling, Montenegro and Flystar Aviation Services, Serbia, which provide ground services at three airports.

Fly Montenegro Ground Handling provides ground services at Podgorica Airport (TGD) and Tivat Airport (TIV), and Flystar Aviation Services provides ground services at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG).

Menzies’ initial focus will be increasing the scope of these services provided by the three airports. It will also look to attract new customers to its portfolio, and maintain existing customer relationships.

Miguel Gomez, Executive Vice President – Europe, Menzies Aviation, said: “I am delighted to announce a further expansion in Eastern Europe with a joint venture in Montenegro and Serbia, both of which have significant potential for growth. Fly Montenegro and Flystar have built up a strong customer base over the past 13 years to become a leading ground services provider. We’re looking forward to working with our new partner and colleagues to expand the services we offer over the coming years to new and existing customers.”

Ana Marojević, founder of Fly Montenegro and Flystar who has joined Menzies Aviation as General Manager Serbia and Montenegro, said: “I am excited to be partnering with Menzies, a world-leading aviation services provider, to grow our offering for customers. Montenegro has huge potential in aviation as the majority of its tourists arrive by air and Serbia is building itself as a well-established hub for the Balkan region. We are looking forward to increased traffic and improved service for our clients as we utilize Menzies’ expertise and network.”

Menzies-RAS expands in Pakistan with new business at eight airports

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Since acquiring a 49% shareholding in Pakistan’s aviation services business, Royal Airport Services (RAS) in 2021, Menzies Aviation has announced more than a dozen significant contract wins in the country.

Menzies-RAS won a contract to provide ground services to Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, at Multan and Faisalabad. It has also secured an agreement with private airline Airblue to provide cargo services at Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Multan. Meanwhile, low-fare carrier, Jazeera selected Menzies-RAS to deliver passenger, ramp and cargo handling between the Lakson group, while Air Arabia Group, has selected the company to deliver passenger, ramp and cargo services at five airports in the country. Saudi Arabia’s domestic and low-fare carrier, flynas, has also appointed Menzies-RAS to provide passenger, ramp and cargo handling at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad while British Airways is using the aviation logistics provider for ground handling services at Islamabad when it begins operations at the airport in October.

In addition, the United Nations World Food Programme (UN WFP) has also selected Menzies-RAS to offer reliable, cost-efficient and effective passenger and light cargo transport to the humanitarian community at Islamabad.

“Our acquisition of Royal Airport Services has been a positive step for our global strategy of increasing our depth of service capability and expanding geographical footprint, especially in high-growth emerging markets such as Pakistan,” said Charles Wyley, Executive Vice President – MEAA, Menzies Aviation. “Together as a joint venture we have used our presence at eight stations to generate growth opportunities as well as further enhance safety and security standards. This is just the beginning, and we are looking forward to further developing best in class operating practices, our airline relationships and growth in passenger and cargo services.”

Agility acquires Menzies creating a force to be reckoned with for aviation services in 58 countries

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UK-based John Menzies PLC has been acquired for £763 million by supply chain services, infrastructure and innovation company, Agility. The latter will combine the business with its National Aviation Services (NAS) company to create a world leader in aviation across 58 countries. In 2021 the combined revenues of Menzies and NAS exceeded $1.5 billion.

The combined company will operate as Menzies Aviation and will provide air cargo services, fuel services and ground services at airports spanning six continents. The new company will have approximately 35,000 employees and operations at 254 airports handling 600,000 aircraft turnarounds, 2 million tonnes of cargo and 2.5 million fuelling turns per year.

Having previously held the position of NAS CEO, Haassan El-Houry now becomes the Chair of the combined company. “Menzies and NAS will create the world leader in aviation services,” he said.

“We will have the scale and resources to expand and grow as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial aviation is a key engine of global economic growth and our customers need partners they can count on as flight volumes return.”

The company’s customers will include Air Canada, Air China, Air France-KLM, America Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, easyJet, Emirates, Ethiopian, FlyDubai, Frontier Airlines, IAG, Jazeera, Qantas Group, Qatar Airways, Southwest, Turkish, United Airlines, WestJet and Wizz Air.

Menzies Aviation CEO, Philipp Joeinig, who will be the CEO of the combined company commented: “Agility’s backing gives us the resources to provide innovative solutions for growing and forward-thinking customers, and to develop our talent, technology and sustainability; critical factors for our future success. It also means we are well positioned to support our customers in tackling supply chain challenges and labour shortages.”

Meanwhile, Agility Vice Chairman, Tarek Sultan described this as a new chapter for Agility, Menzies and NAS. “By acquiring Menzies and combining it with NAS, Agility has the opportunity to unlock greater value in both. Agility has a strong track record of sustainable and responsible growth over the last two decades, driven both organically and through mergers and acquisitions, and this latest deal is part of our strategy to further accelerate that growth. For Agility this deal creates the largest owned and operated – “controlled” – business in Agility’s portfolio by revenue, headcount and global presence. We’re looking forward to seeing the new Menzies soar with Agility’s backing.”

Sichuan Airlines resumes service to Finland supported by Aviator Airport Alliance

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Offering a full range of aviation services at 15 airports across the Nordics, Aviator Airport Alliance (which is part of Avia Solutions Group) has supported Sichuan Airlines on its first flight after lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

The airline has received full ground handling and de-icing services at Helsinki Airport from Aviator since establishing a partnership in 2019 and is currently operating one flight per week from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in China to Helsinki in Finland.

Mikko Asikainen, Safety & Compliance Manager at Aviator, said: “We are delighted to welcome our partners Sichuan Airlines back in Helsinki. Since the beginning of the global pandemic China was very strict in imposing restrictions to fight the spread of the virus, thus now Sichuan Airlines are returning to Helsinki Airport to continue operations. We are grateful for this continuous trust from the airline and are excited to continue providing them with services of the highest standards.”

In addition to ground handling and de-icing services, Aviator provides services including passenger and baggage handling, cargo and full-freight handling and station services and it also offers airport security and the Nordic Dino aircraft washing robot.