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.”

Ink Innovation selected to improve OTP at regional hubs in Finland

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The Finnish independent ground handling provider, Inter Handling, has selected Ink Innovation’s Departure Control System (DCS) to improve the on-time performance (OTP) at Turku and Mariehamn airports in western Finland.

Inter Handling partnered with ground handling systems specialist, Nordic Aviation Support, to seal the deal with Ink.

Commenting on the deal, Blaine Powell, Chief Sales Officer of Ink Innovation said: “Together with our business partner Nordic Aviation Support we are glad to support Inter Handling’s future growth plans both now and well into the future.”

Ink DCS will be used to connect passengers between the regional hubs of Turku City and the Aland Islands. The flexibility of Ink’s solution will help deliver an enhanced experience through its ability to handle passengers via desktop and mobile. The system will also enable Inter Handling to scale its operation and react quickly to passenger demand on the day of departure.

“To optimise processes and infrastructure for Inter Handling Finland, we needed to deliver a practical, future-fit solution,” said Ola Strangeways, CEO & Founder of Nordic Aviation Support.

“We chose Ink because of the high versatility of its mobile platform and the rapid roll-out of a mere five days. Inter Handling will also leverage additional functionalities to help improve the aircraft turnaround process, resulting in better on time performance and reduced fuel burn for its airline customers.

As a cloud-hosted departure and control platform capable of running across a range of devices, Ink DCS combines a Plug-and-play Web Check-in, Desktop DCS, Disaster Recovery, Ink Mobile, Kiosk Check-in and Bag Drop according to each station’s needs in a single connected platform. It is certified on all major CUTE platforms: SITA, RESA, Rockwell Collins, Aena and Amadeus.

ASTM launches petroleum lab professional certification

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Global standards organisation ASTM International has launched a series of certification specially designed for petroleum lab professionals.

The new programme covers product areas including aviation fuel, diesel fuel and others. The credentials offered are meant to help both labs and individual technicians demonstrate their awareness and commitment to industry standards.

“Requested by leading oil producers and lab professionals, the new ASTM Petroleum Laboratory Professional Certification programme is a cost-effective way to ensure quality assurance and evaluate and improve individual performance,” said David von Glahn, ASTM International’s Director of Education and Credentialing.

Covering 10 different product areas and ASTM standards the programme is available for online purchase.

Middle East Airlines deploys SITA baggage reconciliation at Rafic Hariri Airport

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SITA and Middle East Airlines- Air Liban (MEA) have moved the airport’s baggage reconciliation system (BRS) at Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut and renewed a technology contract.

By installing SITA’s Bag Manager cloud solution, the air transport hub will be able to process around nine million bags per year compared to three million bags in previous years without any significant equipment investment. Subsequently, the BRS technology will significantly reduce operational costs for the airport and airline, with the server-less design avoiding on-site interventions to refresh, upgrade, maintain and support multiple obsolete devices such as servers.

Dr Adib Charif, Head of IT, MEA, commented: “SITA has been the provider of BRS at Rafic Hariri International Airport – Beirut since 2009, and we’re excited to continue our technology partnership with this next stage of our digitalisation programme. By moving a server-based system to the cloud, we’ve cut down on cumbersome operation procedures, eliminated regular maintenance costs and freed up resources to focus on other essential services. We’re committed to giving passengers a seamless passenger journey and leading the way in the region during the industry recovery.”

Representing around 40% of traffic at the Beirut hub, MEA’s Meedle East Airline Ground Handling (MEAG) represents 80% of the baggage processing at the airport, while the remaining 20% is handled by the Lebanese Air Transport, which has also installed SITA’s cloud-based BRS.

Hani El Asaad, President Middle East and Africa SITA added: “We’ve seen a global trend in the rate of mishandled bags increasing in line with the rapid resumption of international travel. Technology holds the solutions to the challenges our industry is facing during this transformative post-pandemic period, where airports and airlines need to achieve more with less.”

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.

Vestergaard unveils electric de-icer and toilet service truck at GSE Expo

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Vestergaard, which specialises in designing and producing airport equipment, unveiled its new vacuum toilet service truck at this year’s GSE Expo, which took place at paris Le Bourget from 13-15 September.

It may not sound all that glamorous, but  Vestergaard’s new truck is set to revolutionise the process of cleaning out aircraft toilets. The new toilet service truck is a standardised 3,000 litre version and can be delivered with or without a mixing system for rinse water.

The units can be either electrical or diesel with the former underlining Vestergaard’s focus on sustainability. This year’s expo also saw the GSE provider present its first fully electric de-icer. The e-Mini Lite is on a Vestergaard electrical chassis and the fluid is heated electrically as well.

Around a year ago, Vestergaard introduced its first e-Mini MY Lite deicer for smaller regional airports. The e-Mini MY Lite services aircraft up to B757 with a tank capacity of 4,000 litres. The first version was on the Vestergaard 12 T electrical chassis with diesel heaters.

The e-Mini MY Lite comes with a 40 or 62 kwh battery and can handles 8-12 deicings depending on the rate of contamination/ fluid needs. It can also drive 40-75km on a single charge.

The unit also comes with an on-board charger for the chassis and plugin for the heater.

As well as showcasing its latest innovations, the expo also provided Vestergaard with the opportunity to update customers on its electrically operated Elephant BETA de-icing unit, which it debuted in Munich three years ago. Since then the unit has been perfected and is currently in operation at six airports around the world.

According to Vestergaard one of its customers has reported an 87% reduction in CO2 with the eBETA. The unit can now be delivered with a 40 or 62 kwH battery size. It also has an onboard charger for plug-in, while in situations where there is not enough time for plug-in charging, the Volvo engine can change the battery in 30 minutes.

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.”

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.”