AeroMexico selects Swissport to handle flights at Rome Fiumicino

220720-Swissport-274 AeroMexico has selected Swissport to handle its flights at Rome Fiumicino airport when services start on 26 March.
The Mexican airline will operate 4 flights a week between Mexico City and Rome from 26 March using a Boeing 787, increasing to 7 a week from mid-June.
Swissport will provide passenger and security services, lounge hospitality and ramp handling under the contract, which runs until March 2026.
Marina Bottelli, Managing Director for Italy at Swissport, said: “We are honoured and excited to partner with the Mexican national airline. AeroMexico can rely on Swissport’s recognised experience as a reliable partner for a vast range of aviation services between the landing and the take-off of their flights. Our launch in Italy just nine months ago, when we also took over the complete hub handling of ITA Airways at their home base, was a great success, and we are pleased that our customer portfolio continues to grow and now includes 50 renowned airlines.”
Swissport started operating in Italy in July last year, starting at Rome Fiumicino then at Milan Linate.
Since July, Swissport has served more than 4.8 million passengers and handled almost 42,000 departures for 50 airlines in Rome.

SAASA acquires air cargo terminal at Benito Juarez

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Servicios Aeroportuarios Andino Global S.L. (SAASA) has acquired an air cargo terminal at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City in partnership with Grupo CCO.
The acquired warehouse, which will receive a significant investment to increase its storage capacity, will kick-start other operations in two other Latin American countries later this year.
“This strategic asset, together with the purchase of Globalia Handling de Mexico-now SAASA Mexico, a few months ago, sets us in an excellent position at a very dynamic airport such as Benito Juarez. This airport handles over 50 million passengers and more than 570 thousand tons of air cargo per year. Currently, we are operating in 4 Mexican airports and now we have a cargo terminal that will allow us to service an important and demanding market in the airline industry,” said Enrique Vargas, SAASA’s CEO.
In less than a year, SAASA Mexico has already been able to double its ramp operations at Benito Juarez airport.
In addition to Benito Juarez, SAASA also operates at the Felipe Angeles International Airport in Zumpango de Ocampo, the Adolfo López Mateos International Airport in Toluca and the Manuel Crescencio Rejon International Airport in Merida.

Samsic Assistance awarded licence at Montréal-Trudeau International

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Samsic Assistance has been awarded the ground handling operating licence in Montréal-Trudeau International Airport effective 1 April, 2023.

It follows its successful launch of full handling operations at Vancouver International Airport in April 2022.

Samsic will now be operating in 4 out of the 5 major airports in the country: Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal, plus Chicago O’Hare and San Francisco International Airport in the US, confirming that North America is the key market for the international development of the French ground handler, which is offering a complete set of above and below wing services including PRM and supervision.

Stefano Sciotti, President of Samsic Assistance Canada, said that this confirms the huge investment capacity of the Samsic Group despite the pandemic. “Thanks to the solidity of the Samsic Group, employing 117,000 employees in 27 countries with an annual turnover of 3.5 billion euros, Samsic Assistance has been able to start and develop its North America operations since 2020, in full pandemic.”

He continued: “It is a great honour for us realising that after 3 years more than 500 people decided to join the Samsic family and that 14 carriers decided to partner with Samsic in the region. And this has been done entirely through internal growth.

“The core values of the family-held company, the human touch of our local management teams and the quality of the equipment have resulted into Samsic having among the highest staff retention rates in the region, despite the competitiveness of the labour market.”

The development in the region has been accompanied by huge attention to sustainability, with among the newest and greenest GSE fleets in the latest platforms that have been started up.

And the results are impressive, Sciotti said: “Samsic Assistance’s revenue in 2022 has been 3 times the revenue in 2021, and an additional increase by 100% is planned to take place in 2023. North America will be representing about 20% of Samsic Assistance revenues in 2023.”

On another note, Samsic Assistance’s strong development in 2023, where the company foresees an increase of 50% of the revenues versus 2022, has been pushed by the strong development of the shuttle buses activities in Paris CDG, where in February it started its activity of inter-terminal shuttles awarded by ADP and in March the Air France crew shuttle buses service.

“One group, one family, but a lot of diversified services that we offer to our partners,” he added.

Menzies to acquire majority stake in AJAS Limited

Menzies Aviation is extending its American network to Jamaica by acquiring a majority stake in AJAS Limited.Menzies Aviation aquires majority stake in Jamaican-based AJAS Limited
The privately owned ground and cargo handling company has operated in Jamaica for over 82 years, employs almost 600 staff and provides ramp, passenger and cargo handling services to several international airlines at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
Following the acquisition, AJAS Limited will be rebranded as Menzies AJAS, bringing it in line with other companies in the Menzies Group and the current management team will stay in place.
John Redmond, Executive Vice President Americas of Menzies Aviation, said: “The Menzies AJAS combination brings together local knowledge, relationships and expertise, which will strengthen our position in this market. We look forward to working with the AJAS team to grow the business under the Menzies brand.”
Howard Mitchell, Chairman of AJAS, said: “We have a shared vision with Menzies and are aligned on the value of our employees and how we look after them, which in turn maximizes the service they provide as well as the return to our stakeholders.”
The transaction is expected to close in a matter of weeks, subject to regulatory approval, and the rebranding and integration into Menzies’ global network will begin this month.

Talma completes Servicios Aéreos Integrados acquisition

Talma 2Peruvian company Talma, from Grupo Sandoval, has acquired Servicios Aéreos Integrados (SAI), a Colombian company owned by Avianca.
SAI operates in the Colombian airports of Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Cartagena, Armenia, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Montería, Ibagué, Neiva, Pereira and Pasto, in which they mainly provide ground assistance services, passenger service and baggage clearance.
The transaction was made through TSA Investments Inc. S.A., a holding company based in Peru and is Talma’s second acquisition in Colombia as in 2019, they bought LASA, an airport services company based in Medellín.
Arturo Cassinelli, Corporate General Manager of Talma, said: “This acquisition is part of the regional expansion plan that started in 2010 with the entry into the Mexican market and continued with the acquisition of a ramp services company in Ecuador in 2017. Today, the company specialising in airport services and air logistics, operates in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico, becoming the largest airport services company in Latin America.”

IATA calls for transition to enhanced GSE

Nick Careen, SVP Operations, Safety and Security at IATA

Nick Careen, SVP Operations, Safety and Security at IATA

Transitioning to enhanced ground support equipment (GSE) could significantly improve safety and cut ground damage caused by GSE, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Calling for a transition to enhanced GSE, which uses anti-collision and inching technology to improve accuracy and safety, an IATA study says that the annual cost of ground damage caused by GSE will double to $10 billion by 2035.

IATA came to the figure by looking at the direct costs of material and labour, temporary leasing, logistical and administrative expenses, and indirect costs of lost revenue, crew and passenger repositioning and compensation for delayed services.

The study found that most damage occurs when the aircraft is stationery and GSE strikes the fuselage, and that the damage rate is 10 times higher for widebody aircraft but regional, turboprop and narrowbody aircraft are 30% more prone to severe ground damage.

According to the IATA ground damage incident data base, belt-loaders, cargo-loaders, passenger stairs and passenger boarding bridges cause 40% of the total incidents.

IATA estimates that transitioning 75% of the global fleet of belt-loaders, cargo-loaders, passenger stairs and passenger boarding bridges to enhanced GSE would reduce the current damage rate by 42%.

Nick Careen, Senior Vice President Operations, Safety and Security at IATA, said: “Transitioning to Enhanced GSE with anti-collision technology is a no-brainer. We have proven technology that can improve safety. And with the cost of ground damage growing across the industry there is a clear business case supporting early adoption. The challenge now is to put together a roadmap so that all stakeholders are aligned on a transition plan.”

IATA also recommends that GSE fleet owners should have a plan to transition to enhanced GSE, ground handling service providers should be ready to integrate enhanced GSE into their fleets, airlines should work with ground handlers to use enhanced GSE, aircraft and GSE manufacturers should work together to ensure that GSE can operate safely and securely around aircraft and states should consider policies to encourage the use of enhanced GSE.

United invests in Natron Energy to electrify ground operations

IAH ramp marshall plane resizedUnited Airlines has made a strategic equity investment in sodium-ion battery manufacturer Natron Energy to help electrify ground operations.

The sodium-ion batteries have the potential to help United electrify airport ground equipment including pushback tractors and operations at the gate.

United has made investments in companies developing technology to reduce aircraft emissions but Natron is the first with the potential to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint from United’s ground operations.

The airline has more than 12,000 pieces of motorised ground equipment, of which one third is electric.

Natron’s batteries can support operations through charging electric ground equipment, charging anticipated future electric aircraft, allowing airport operations to manage electricity demand and greatly improve resilience during inclement weather.

Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures, said: “Out of the gate, we primarily focused on technology designed to help reduce carbon emissions from our airplanes. Natron’s cutting-edge sodium-ion batteries presented an ideal opportunity to both potentially expand our sustainability investment portfolio to our ground operations, and to help make our airport operations more resilient.”

Colin Wessells, CEO of Natron Energy, added: “Our batteries provide the high power over short distances that ground service equipment needs, and unlike lithium-ion, Natron’s batteries are completely non-flammable and can be safely deployed into ground service operations.”

Natron says sodium-ion batteries have several advantages such as better output and cycle life than their lithium counterparts, and independent tests showed that they were non-flammable.

The minerals used in sodium-ion batteries are abundant worldwide and easily sourced, unlike lithium which is in short supply with demand expected to triple by 2025.

Azul awards Swissport handling contract at Viracopos

Swissport resizedBrazilian airline Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras has awarded Swissport to provide ground handling services at Viracopos International Airport.

Swissport will provide ramp handling, aircraft cleaning, and cargo handling in the eight year contract at the airport in Campinas, Sao Paulo state. The two companies already work together at eight airports in Brazil.

Rene Pascua, Head of Latin America and Caribbean at Swissport said: “Swissport has been serving Azul at several airports since the start of their operations in 2008, and we are honoured to earn their renewed trust and to serve them at their home base. Swissport is well prepared to support Azul’s growth in Brazil and beyond as it adds new aircraft.”

At Viracopos, Azul serves 66 locations across Latin America and a few in the US and Portugal, primarily operating narrow-body Airbuses, ATRs and Embraers and a few widebody Airbuses, and it has A350s on order.

Unifi handles Breeze Airways flights in West Palm Beach

Breeze Airways resizedUnifi has extended its partnership with Breeze Airways to handle services in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Since Breeze Airways’ inaugural flight in May 2021, Unifi has been providing services at several airports and will support six flights a week at West Palm Beach International Airport.

Gautum Thakkar, CEO of Unifi says: “We’ve been a proud partner of Breeze Airways since they started. As their largest aviation services provider, we are thrilled to support their Seriously Nice™ approach to their customers by delivering strong performance across all measurable categories.”

In addition to West Palm Beach, Unifi also provides Breeze with ground handling services in Akron, Ohio; Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas; Hartford, Connecticut; Huntsville, Alabama; Louisville, Kentucky; Norfolk, Virginia; Providence, Rhode Island; San Antonio, Texas; Tampa, Florida; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Polar Air Cargo and WFS sign contract in Los Angeles

PolarAirCargoaircraftdeparting resizedPolar Air Cargo has expanded its partnership with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) through a long-term contract at Los Angeles International Airport.

WFS started providing warehouse handling services from December 2021 and will also manage scheduled and ad-hoc freighter services for Atlas Air from Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is one of Polar’s biggest stations in the US and the airline has expanded its footprint with a second warehouse totalling more than 230,000 square feet.

Guido DiGiandomenico, Vice President of Sales in North America for WFS says: “In Los Angeles, thanks to the hard work of our local WFS team, we have earned a solid reputation for providing quality cargo handling services in what is a challenging marketplace. We look forward to supporting Polar’s continued growth at this very important west coast gateway.”

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