The German ground support equipment manufacturer SCHOPF Maschinenbau GmbH of Ostfildern near Stuttgart has won the bid from the British company Aviance UK for an entire fleet of aircraft tugs. Forty-eight tractors ranging from the F110 to the F396, the latter earmarked for airbus A380 operations, will be shipped across the English Channel in the coming 18 months.
The conclusion of the deal means that production at SCHOPF will immediately ramp up to 'full speed ahead', and for 18 months a succession of new units will leave the company premises bound for London and beyond.
SCHOPF models ranging from the versatile F110 to the high-performance F396 - each of which embodies the accumulated experience of 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise - will join the delivery parade. Aviance UK will be able to pushback and tow any and every aircraft around, including the Airbus A380 and the 600 000 kg Antonov AN 225 - the world's heaviest airplane.
GSE manufacturers from around the globe were invited to participate in the bid, and after a long period of intensive study Aviance UK - which is responsible for ground handling at 17 airports throughout Great Britain and Ireland - chose SCHOPF. Price was not a crucial element in the decision process, but rather safety, quality, reliability, longevity and excellent references were the deciding factors. In short it was the overall impression created by the SCHOPF brand that did the convincing.
Arthur Dodgson, Aviance's Managing Director, commenting on the contract, said: "This order underlines our commitment to support our customer airlines with first class GSE at Heathrow and in our regional businesses. We worked closely with SCHOPF to ensure that we had the right equipment at the right time to handle the exciting developments relating to the A380. SCHOPF clearly understood our need for both value and quality and have proved to be good partners."
And as Managing Director Dr. Hermann Brueggemann happily points out: "SCHOPF understands its British customer’s requirement for quality and reliability. This large order means that SCHOPF and its sub-suppliers can together plan future production more effectively. Particularly gratifying is the opportunity to create new jobs."
In addition to the Aviance deal, sales to e. g. Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Russia, New Zealand, North Africa, France and Belgium - most of which were multiple orders - have also contributed to SCHOPF's steady advance in the aviation market.
"This is a very positive trend - one which I am happy to say brings great benefit to Ostfildern by securing continued employment for the region'" added Dr. Brueggemann, emphasizing the strength and stability of his company.