Gate Gourmet, an independent airline caterer and logistics provider, announces it will expand the scope of its business into airline ground handling and support through the acquisition of a leading U.K.-based group operating under the Fernley and International Aviation Services (IAS) brands.
The acquired companies offer a comprehensive range of aviation special services including aircraft cabin cleaning, aircraft washing and de-icing; security activities such as baggage screening and document verification; airport executive lounges; and passenger services such as wheelchair and unaccompanied minor assistance.
“This is a major step forward in the evolution of Gate Gourmet, and it ensures that we continue as the innovation leader in the airline catering value chain,” said David Siegel, Chairman and CEO. “This acquisition enables us to capitalize on our existing airport and ramp presence to provide high quality non-catering service at a competitive cost, both above and below the wing.”
“Through this deal, we are extending the company’s reach to new airports as well as the scope of our business line,” said Guy Dubois, Group Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. “For customers, this will mean more choices of services at more locations,” he said.
Along with Fernley and IAS, the group also includes Specialist Airport Services, European Airport Services and Airfield Services Ltd. The companies operate primarily in the U.K., including at London’s Heathrow, Gatwick Stansted and Luton airports, as well as Manchester, Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Liverpool, East Midlands, Biggin Hill and Glasgow. European Airport Services also operates in Amsterdam; Brussels, and several other regional airports in France and the Netherlands.
“We’re proud that our company’s reputation for excellent, affordable service was attractive to Gate Gourmet, which is keenly knowledgeable about operating within a complex airport environment,” said IAS/Fernley founder Gary Morby. “IAS/Fernley is an excellent fit for Gate Gourmet, and offers an exciting opportunity for growth based on our joint capabilities.”
The acquired Fernley/IAS companies were privately held entities - mainly owned by Gary Morby - that have been in business for about 25 years. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The new range of Gate Gourmet’s aviation special services will be renamed Gate Aviation Services, which will be led by Morby.