October 2013 News

Oct. 14, 2013


March 25-26

AviationPros LIVE

Las Vegas, NV

April 14-15

GSE Buyers Conference

Dublin, Ireland

April 27-30

IATA Ground Handling Conference

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Business Buzz 

Swissport, UIA Trade Allegations: In two sharply worded press releases, one-time business partners Swissport International Ltd. and Ukrainian International Airlines traded barbs over an on-going legal battle in the Ukraine. First, Swissport issued a release about “inefficiencies” of the judicial system that has postponed hearings seven times and the “silence” of the government that has taken no action with its Anti-Raider Commission. UIA followed saying Swissport is presenting “deliberately misleading information” an putting pressure on the court and government “in order to obtain an illegal judgment” in the dispute. 

$15 Minimum Wage For Airport Workers: SeaTac voters will get to decide whether the city should increase its minimum wage to a nation-leading $15 per hour, after the state appeals court reversed a judge's ruling that voided signatures needed to qualify the measure for November's ballot. The initiative gained additional endorsements from 20 local Democrats.

Delta Joins S&P 500: Delta Air Lines Inc. rejoined the stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500. The S&P index is made up of 500 large U.S. companies whose shares trade on either the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Alaska Air On Top: The International Council on Clean Transportation, a nonprofit environmental consulting firm, released its ranking for the most fuel efficient airlines, with Alaska Air Group topping the list.

Emirates To Add More U.S. Destinations: Emirates airline plans to more than double its network of U.S. destinations in the next three to five years to a total of 15 cities, up from the current number of seven. Emirates is set to add new service from New York's John F. Kennedy airport to Milan in October.

Cargo Airline Chooses Orlando For HQ: Lured in part by economic incentives potentially worth more than $1 million, National Air Cargo Inc. picked Orlando for its new home after a year-long, nationwide search involving several rival cities. The airline, which provides freight transport for military and industrial customers, was formerly based in Orchard Park, NY and Ypsilanti, MI.

British Airways Introduces ‘Hand Baggage Only’ Fares: British Airways is extending its hand baggage only fares to passengers at Heathrow and London City airports. The carrier introduced the new option at Gatwick initially on five short-haul routes to Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Jersey, Tunis and Turin. The airline then extended it to all of its routes from Gatwick. The airline now plans to introduce the fare for travel between Heathrow and nine short-haul route – Amsterdam, Stockholm, Barcelona, Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Rome, Rotterdam, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

New Deals

ASIG To Build FBO At PTY: ASIG Panama, S.A. has been contracted by the Tocumen International Airport to build and operate an FBO that will be branded and operated as a Signature Flight Support location. In other news, the Star Alliance appointed ASIG as the passenger service handler for economy class check, on behalf of its partner airlines located in Zones A and D at London Heathrow’s future Terminal 2.

Menzies Grows in Scotland: Menzies Aviation has successfully completed the takeover of the Aero Handling business at Aberdeen Airport. Having only established its ground handling business in Aberdeen in August 2012 (through the purchase of Airbase Flight Support), Menzies has now doubled the size of its station in just over a year. Menzies also won the Loganair contract at Edinburgh Airport for five years, which adds an additional 10 flights per day beginning this month, and renewed its contract with the airline at Glasgow Airport for another five years.

Asiana Renews with Matheson: Asiana renewed its ground handling and warehouse contract to Matheson Flight Extenders at the Portland International Airport.


Swissport International Ltd., named Pieter Van den Nieuwenhuizen as CEO of Swissport Belgium N.V. and appointed Jean-Luc Payot as CEO Swissport Geneva. Prior to his new assignment, Van den Nieuwenhuizen was leading several divisions of G4S Belgium as managing director and general manager from 2002 onwards. Payot has already worked for Swissport before, from 1993 to 2001, at last as general manager and vice president of business development Swissport France and CEO of executive aviation. Before returning to Swissport, Payot has been the managing director of Bell Switzerland since 2004.

Mike Ford has joined SkyMark Refuelers as vice president of engineering. Ford brings 25 years of aviation engineering experience to the elite Skymark refuelers team. Ford has long been a leader in the aviation industry. He is credited with pioneering solar technology on hydrant carts back in 2002. Today, this reliable, efficient and earth-friendly technology is commonplace at hundreds of airports in several countries. Over the years, Ford has been responsible for designing refueling equipment across the country from the Port Authority in New York and New Jersey to American Airlines in Chicago. Internationally, he has designed equipment for the Turkish military and into-plane operators in Indonesia.

Vanderlande Industries named Govert Hamers as president and CEO effective Jan. 1. He will succeed Peter Gerretse. Hamers transfers from the highly successful international shipbuilder IHC Merwede, where, since 2005, he has been the CEO responsible for a strong, profitable growth in turnover from 450 million euros to almost 1 billion euros. Hamers has already been on Vanderlande’s supervisory board for the last two years.

Tom Tagart joined Evergreen Aviation Ground Logistics Enterprises Inc. as vice president of operations. Taggart spent the previous 10 years working for Matheson Flight Extenders joining as a station manger and leaving as a general manager.

JetBlue Airways appointed John Allen to the position of vice president, chief safety officer. Allen will be responsible for maintaining JetBlue's focus and practice of safe operations both in the air and on the ground. Allen retired from the FAA last August after 22 years with the agency in a variety of roles of increasing responsibility, culminating as director of flight safety standards. Allen also retired from the Air Force Reserves in 2009 as a brigadier general after 31 years of active-duty and reserve service. 

Sunrise Airways, a new start-up airline based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, appointed Rodolfo Cueto Guerra to the position of director of ground operations. Cueto will have direct responsibility for ground handling services encompassing all Sunrise Airways flights, while also serving on the carrier’s executive leadership team charged with establishing hub operations in Port-au-Prince to better connect the Western Caribbean. Cueto brings 15 years of aviation experience, the bulk of which he amassed serving in various, progressively senior positions with AeroCaribbean.

Cygnus Business Media named Karen Berg as associate publisher of Aircraft Maintenance Technology and Airport Business magazines, sister publications to Ground Support Worldwide along with corresponding responsibility for AviationPros.com. Berg was most recently the vice president of business development with Thompson Aerospace. Berg joined KLM in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1999, holding leadership positions as the director of operations for Cygnific BV, KLM’s wholly owned customer care subsidiary, as well as in KLM’s IT and air freight divisions. Berg was also the director of maintenance and modifications for the KLM fleet and more recently, the vice president of sales North America for Air France Industries and KLM Engineering & Maintenance.