September 2012 New In Brief

Business Buzz

Southwest Seeks Workers’ Ideas: Southwest Airlines began asking employees to help it stay competitive by finding ways to save $5 a day. Southwest is under growing pressure to trim spending as higher labor and fuel expenses erode its cost advantage over larger rivals.

Chattanooga Airport Expands Cargo: With air freight soaring at Chattanooga Airport, officials plan to expand a cargo ramp on the south end of its main runway. Through the first six months of this year, air cargo handled has climbed 240 percent over a year ago, according to the airport.

American Delivers: American Airlines will begin delivering its passengers’ luggage. The service can be purchased when booking the trip or up to two hours before the flight and costs $29.95 to $49.95, depending on the amount of luggage.

Delta Ends Regional Ground Handling: Delta Air Lines is shutting down its subsidiary that performs ground handling and customer service for its regional carrier flights. Regional Elite Airline Services has about 4,000 employees around the country. Its operations will be taken over by the end of the year by other companies, including a new subsidiary, Delta Global Services, that the airline expects will have job opportunities at the same airports for the “vast majority” of Regional Elite workers. In related news, Delta will shut down its regional carrier Comair at the end of September.

American Lays Off Cargo Agents: American Airlines said it expects to lay off 40 cargo workers at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport by the end of this month. The airline linked the job losses to the company’s attempt to cut spending as it restructures under bankruptcy protection.

DOT Fines Airlines: The Department of Transportation hit JetBlue with a $90,000 fine for failing to inform passengers that they had a right to exit a plane that was stuck at a gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport earlier this year. In related news, the DOT fined online travel company Orbitz $50,000 for failing to properly disclose baggage fees on its website.

Partnerships/Acquisitions/Contracts

Fortbrand Delivers: Fortbrand Services, Inc., the exclusive North American distributor for the Hagie GST 20, a multifunction, airfield maintenance unit that can provide service throughout the year, delivered its second Hagie GST 20 airport sprayer, equipped with a Vammas PS4200 Edge Light Plow and Tiger 24-foot flail mower for use at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Lightweight Containers For Airberlin: Airberlin is will be using lightweight containers to transport freight and baggage. Their use will trim 400 pounds of weight and save more than 7,900 gallons of fuel per aircraft per aircraft per year. The Jettainer, containers will be used on Airbus A330-300 and A330-200 long-haul flights.

Deicing Apron At PWM: The Portland International Jetport will receive a multiyear $9.3 million grant from the FAA to help pay for recent expansions. The funds will help cover the costs of a $9 million deicing apron.

Menzies Acquires Flight Support: Menzies Aviation acquired Flight Support, a UK-based ground handling business from Airbase Holdings. The acquisition adds three new airports to the Menzies’ UK ground handling network and the increases existing relationships with a number of airlines.

JBT Wins $10 Million Order: JBT AeroTech was awarded orders in excess of $10 million by a large air freight carrier. The contract is for the supply of new aircraft cargo loaders, deicing vehicles and pushback tractors, as well as for the refurbishment and upgrade of existing cargo loaders. The new and refurbished GSE will be used to support cargo aircraft throughout their global system.

Somerset Finance Announces Partnership: Somerset GSE Finance announced the formation of a strategic partnership with Melton Sales & Service, a remanufacturing specialist located outside of Philadelphia, PA.

Swissport Gains Cargo: Swissport Cargo Services will begin cargo handling for Air China’s daily B747-400 freighters in to and out of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, and will also begin handling cargo and trucked freight movements at Schiphol for Turkish Airlines.

Cavotec Wins Fueling Deals: Cavotec will supply aircraft refueling pits for the second phase of Mumbai International Airport’s expansion program. This follows the successful installation of similar pit systems for the first phase of the program, and brings the total number of Cavotec in-ground refueling units at the airport to 175. Cavotec has also won a first-time order for unspecified number of hydrant pits that will be installed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

R.J. Design Wins Contract: R.J. Design was awarded a contract to install its Side Shift Cabs at San Diego Airport. R.J. Design is also in the process of installing Side Shift Cabs at Los Angeles International Airport to service A380 flight.

Jasper Provides Products To College: Jasper Engines & Transmissions formed a partnership with Ohio Technical College to provide its products to the school’s automotive and auto-diesel programs. Students will train at Jasper’s Engines and Transmissions Training Center Lab.

People In The News

Ben Weaver was named chief financial officer for ASIG. Weaver will report directly to President Keith P. Ryan. In addition to managing the company’s financial performance, Weaver will work closely with senior executives on mergers, acquisitions and other strategic global growth initiatives.

Weaver joined ASIG from Signature Flight Support where he served as vice president of strategy and development, overseeing global merger and acquisition strategy. He also served as Signature’s vice president of operations planning for all aspects of operations and global procurement strategies.

In 2002, Weaver began his career at Flight Options, LLC, a fractional jet provider. He held several key accounting and finance roles, including vice president of finance. Weaver has a bachelor’s degree in business administration as well as a master’s degree in business administration from John Carroll University.

Matheson Flight Extenders appointed Kenneth deVolpi as sales and marketing manager. He was formerly the station manager for the company’s Bradley/Windsor, CT location. Matheson Flight Extenders also promoted Scott Elander to the position of manager for the company’s Reno/Sparks, NV facility. Elander was previously the location’s supervisor.

Toyota Material Handling U.S.A., Inc. appointed Bret Bruin as national dealer development manager. Bruin is responsible for dealer network development, market representation and dealer financial reporting for the more than 70 authorized Toyota Industrial Equipment dealers and 220 dealership locations throughout North America.

Rebecca Boyd and David Tabb, Skystar Airport Services, Perth, Western Australia, attended a recent International Air Transport Association meeting to accept the first international quality assurance and safety certification through the ISAGO program for any Australasian ground handling company.

Skystar has an integrated approach to provide clients with a single contact point for all their airport ground handling and logistic needs. In 2011, Skystar handled 12,299 flights, carried approximately 3 million passengers and 60,600 tons of baggage, and achieved an impressive 99.5 percent on-time performance record. Skystar also extended its relationships with Qantas, with the award of a new contract at Karratha Airport; Western Australia; Jetstar, with the award of a new contract at Dunedin Airport, New Zealand; and Cobham Aviation with the award of their terminal handling at Perth Airport.

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