Goldhofer buys SCHOPF: On Jan. 1, 2013, Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft took over the SCHOPF group. The group includes SCHOPF Maschinenbau GmbH and SCHOPF ROFAN GmbH, which together have a workforce of about 160 employees.
Swissport reports 2012 sales: Swissport International Ltd. reported total revenue of $2.03 billion last year, an increase of 10 percent compared to 2011. The results included the acquisition of the former Flightcare operations in Spain and Belgium. The company’s growth was mainly organic and resulted from larger contract wins at important European airports, such as Paris Charles-de-Gaulle, Copenhagen and London-Gatwick airports.
Labor unrest for Iberia: Striking ground workers and flight attendants for Iberia clashed with riot police officers at Madrid-Barajas Airport last month at the start of three weeks of work stoppages intended to protest a plan to eliminate more than 3,800 jobs. Pilots are expected to join the strikes this month.
Boeing recognition: HBD/Thermoid, Inc. received a 2012 Boeing Performance Excellence Award. The Boeing Company issues the award annually to recognize suppliers who have achieved superior performance. HBD/Thermoid, Inc. is one of only 441 suppliers to receive the Silver Level Award.
Baggage handling record: The nation’s largest airlines reported their lowest rate of mishandled baggage for a year during 2012, and set high marks for on-time performance, the fewest long tarmac delays and a low rate of canceled flights.
Proposed lithium ban: The International Civil Aviation Organization’s dangerous goods committee has proposed revoking an exemption that permits lithium ion aircraft batteries as heavy as 77 pounds to be shipped on passenger planes.
EU approval: Green energy company ITM Power secured European Union approval for fuel cells to power baggage handling equipment. The company specializes in developing equipment that stores energy from renewable sources by using it to generate hydrogen.
Pennies in profits: The 10 largest U.S.-based airlines earned a combined $152 million in profits in 2012, according to a report from Airlines for America. That represents 21 cents of profit for every passenger who boarded a plane in the year, or a margin of 0.1 percent. The trade group blamed the razor-thin margin in 2012 on an increase in maintenance material, fuel and labor, among other costs. The price of jet fuel reached a record-setting, yearlong average of $128 per barrel. Fuel now represents as much as 49 percent of total operating costs for the airlines.
Delta refines ND crude: Delta Air Lines received its first shipment of North Dakota crude oil at the Pennsylvania refinery it purchased to produce its own jet fuel. Jet fuel is Delta’s largest expense, and it hopes to save $300 million annually by producing its own using more domestic crude oil instead of foreign oil.
Record numbers for DC airports: More than 42 million passengers traveled through Washington-area airports in 2012, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Reagan National Airport posted an annual record of 19.7 million passengers, a 4.1 percent increase from 2011, and well above the 1 percent average growth rate nationally. Dulles International Airport sent 6.7 million travelers to their destinations, and the number of international flights out of the Northern Virginia airport increased for the ninth straight year.
‘It’s a miracle’: The Wall Street Journal reported that airports across the country say more able-bodied travelers have figured out they can use wheelchairs for convenience, making waits a lot longer for travelers with genuine needs. At Los Angeles International Airport, airlines and companies that provide wheelchair service estimate 15 percent of all requests are phony, said Lawrence Rolon, coordinator for disabled services for Los Angeles World Airports. Airport officials estimate nearly 300 wheelchair requests a day are bogus.