February 2014 News

Feb. 28, 2014


AviationPros LIVE

March 25, 2014 - March 26, 2014

Las Vegas, NV

IATA Ground Handling Conference

March 27, 2014 - March 30, 2014

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

GSE Buyers & Ramp-Ops Conference

April 14, 2014 - April 16, 2014

Dublin, Ireland

86th Annual AAAE Annual Conference & Exposition

May 18, 2014 - May 21, 2014

San Antonio, TX

Business Buzz

FCX, PAGE announce marketing partnership: FCX Systems and PAGE Industries announced an exclusive agreement that allows PAGE to market and sell the FCX 400 Hz, 270V DC and 28V DC full product lines to both the commercial and military markets.

Eagle to become Envoy: American Eagle Airlines announced it would change its name to “Envoy.” The name change will happen this spring.

Qantas lays off 35 ground handlers: Qantas will axe all 35 of its ground-handling staff at Hobart International Airport as it shifts the operations of services to the Tasmanian capital to its regional offshoot, QantasLink. The airline said it would outsource the work.

Baltic expands ground handling training: Baltic Aviation Academy, which added ground handling training programs last December to its wide range of services is now expanding the program with additional services. Baltic Aviation Academy’s ground handling training programs are designed according to the IATA and EASA Ground Handling Training requirements.

Great winter for deicing industry: A report Bloomberg Businessweek recounted "the blistering good year, deicing manufacturers are enjoying during this year's winter in North America. Kilfrost has already shipped about 70 percent of the deicing fluid it expected to sell this winter, with two-thirds of the season remaining. Airlines at O’Hare have used 1.06 million gallons through Jan. 15, compared with 1.1 million gallons for all of the 2012-13 season.

Airfares rise for fourth straight year: The price to board an airliner in the United States has risen for the fourth straight year, making it increasingly expensive to fly almost anywhere. The average domestic roundtrip ticket, including tax, reached $363.42 last year, up more than $7 from the prior year, according to an Associated Press analysis of travel data collected from millions of flights throughout the country. The 2 percent increase outpaced inflation, which stood at 1.5 percent. Airfares have risen nearly 12 percent since their low in the depths of the Great Recession in 2009, when adjusted for inflation, the analysis showed.

Airlines on a buying spree: Airlines are on the largest jet-buying spree in the history of aviation, ordering more than 8,200 new planes with manufacturers Airbus SAS and The Boeing Co. in the past five years. There are now a combined 24 planes rolling off assembly lines each week, up from 11 a decade ago. And that rate is expected to keep climbing. Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines and just about every other U.S. carrier has a large order in place. Domestic carriers spent $11.6 billion last year on capital improvements — including new planes — up from $5.2 billion in 2010.

CHC wins AAGSC safety award: Christchurch International Airport won the 2013 Safety Award from the Australasian Aviation Ground Safety Council. According to AAGSC Chairman Keith Butler, the airport won for many deciding factors including the installation of CCTV monitors, lights which are lit when aircraft are about to push back and a monthly FOD “parade.”

SeaTac bosses to consider wage issue: The Port of Seattle Commission will consider the wage issue at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after a judge's ruling that a ballot measure that raised the minimum wage could not be enforced for airport workers. The commission made no specific promises about the 4,700 workers at the airport, saying it will act by June after public hearings.

Back and forth for Airbus, Boeing: Airbus delivered 626 jets in 2013, 22 fewer than Boeing, but pulled in an estimated $38 billion – nearly $13 billion less than Boeing, which delivered more larger, expensive planes. On the orders side, however Airbus topped Boeing for the year, winning back the sales crown it lost a year earlier. Airbus booked a record 1,503 net orders vs. 1,355 net orders for Boeing.

Logan Teleflex becomes Daifuku Logan: Logan Teleflex has announced the rebranding of the company as Daifuku Logan. The name change reflects the global integration and consolidation of Daifuku’s global ABH (Airport Baggage Handling) Division, which stretches from the USA - and includes world leading materials handling integrators such as Daifuku Webb and Wynright - across the globe to the Asia Pacific region, Japan and China.

New Deals

Jetstream Ground Services announced a contract from Frontier Airlines for ground handling services in Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Memphis International Airport that include both under-wing and above-wing services. The contract starts this month at CLT and  in March at MEM.

Aviation Ground Handling announced the company has been awarded the ground handling contract to provide services to Alliance Airlines at Miles Airport, Queensland, Australia. AVGH will provide a full range of ground support services to Alliance on its F50 and F70 aircraft servicing 13 fly-in/fly-out charter flights per week to Brisbane.

Aviator sold Røros Flyservice RRS AS, a company that operates aviation services at Røros Airport in Sør-Trøndelag, Norway. Aviator and Røros Flyservice RRS AS will continue to cooperate and look for areas of further cooperation.

Swissport signed a multiyear ground handling contract with Germanwings at four locations, Birmingham, Geneva, Helsinki and Madrid. The network will be further expanded over the next two years. Germanwings, a part of the Lufthansa Passenger Airline Group, is taking over all of Lufthansa's direct European flights that do not use the Frankfurt or Munich hubs. The airline is expected to operate a flight network of more than 100 destinations within Europe by the end of 2014.

Swissport announced that the acquisition of Servisair from the Derichebourg group was finalized Dec. 23. With the closing, Swissport now employs more than 55,000 people, and the company´s network exceeds 255 stations in 46 countries.

JBT AeroTech business won a contract valued in excess of $19 million for a major airport in Asia.  The contract includes the supply of boarding bridges, GPUs and PCAs. In other news, JBT Aerotech also announced additional contracts valued in excess of $22 million for aviation support equipment by a global airframe manufacturer. Also, crews at the Quad-City International Airport, Moline, IL, will replace half of the jet bridges with new equipment manufactured by JBT AeroTech.

AAR announced that its Nordisk Aviation Products division has begun delivery of 900 Nordisk lightweight cargo containers to Vietnam Airlines. Vietnam Airlines currently has approximately 2,000 Nordisk containers already operating in its fleet.

ARGUS International, Inc. announced a new partnership with the Independent Fixed Base Operators Association that will enable its members to receive special pricing on the TRAQPak FBO tool and the new Safety Management Systems (SMS) for MRO and FBO Course.

Jetex Flight Support announced the opening of three stations in airports of Turkmenistan: Ashgabat, Turkmenbashi and Turkmenabat.

Airport ground handling services firm Décor Aviation is setting up a new low-cost carrier which would start with regional flights in the south India under the banner of Air Pegasus. The carrier, which is expected to commence operations in the next two months, will have Bangalore as its hub


Dave Burkadin joined JBT Corp. as vice president and division manager, JBT AeroTech. Burdakin, 58, joins JBT with more 25 years of experience in industrial manufacturing and leadership. Most recently he served as non-executive chairman of Mayline Corp., a private equity owned industrial company. Burdakin holds an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University.

Daniel Setz was appointed senior vice president/cargo operations for Swissport International. Setz has substantial international experience with more than 20 years working in the transportation and logistics industry. Over the course of the last decade, he held several general management positions, lastly for the Panalpina Group as country managing director and senior vice president for Brazil. Earlier, Setz worked in various positions with country responsibility in Panama, Italy, Ireland and Mexico. Setz directly reports to Nils Pries Knudsen, head of global cargo services at Swissport. In other company news, Tommy Watt was promoted to executive vice president for The United Kingdom and Ireland, also becoming a formal member of Swissport International’s Group Executive Management. Watt is directly reporting to Per H. Utnegaard, group president and CEO. Watt joined Swissport following the completion of the merger with Servisair last December. In his new position Watt is responsible for all ground handling and cargo handling activities of Swissport in the region, with a focus on a successful merger of the two companies as well as the consolidation and further expansion of the business in this region. Watt joined Servisair in 1976 at Glasgow Airport and progressed to hold a number of senior roles during his career.

William R. Long has joined Sasser Family Holdings Inc. as managing director responsible for operating the company's new GSE finance division. The company is a fourth-generation, family-held transportation asset services and management company with roots dating back to 1928. Additional subsidiary business units include Chicago Freight Car Leasing Co.; Union Leasing Inc.; CF Rail Services LLC; CF Asia Pacific Group PTY Ltd, and NxGen Rail Services LLC. These businesses are leaders in providing commercial and industrial-focused rail and vehicle transportation equipment solutions including asset leasing, fleet administration management, asset repair and maintenance, and innovative technology services throughout North America, Australia, and Europe. Sasser will provide equipment financing and asset management services to the aviation industry across all GSE asset types for North America (United States & Canada) including loaders, tractors; towbar and towbarless, deicing assets, baggage tractors, belt loaders, AC/Heating/GPU, airport buses and all fueling-related assets. Services will range from short-term rentals (12 months) to long-term leases and traditional fixed purchase option structures (up to 84 months). Company also provides trade-in services and purchase of excess GSE assets from its clients

Jason Maga, general manager in Honolulu for ASIG was named Fuels Station Manager of the Year by the National Petroleum Management Association. The award recognizes those individuals who have made significant achievements in the aviation fuel industry.  ASIG is contracted by the Hawaii Fueling Facilities Corp., a 22-member airline consortium, to manage and operate the various jet fuel facilities that comprise the fuel distribution network for the Hawaiian Islands. Since 2007, Jason has managed HFFC fuel storage facilities at Honolulu, Kona and Hilo airports. In 2013, Maga participated on the Hawaii Refinery Task Force to determine future storage requirements for the Islands of Hawaii.  As a result, he has been instrumental in determining and implementing upgrades and expansion projects for existing facilities at Honolulu and Kona airports. He has negotiated new ground leases and financing and worked with engineers to build new storage facilities at Maui’s Kahului Airport and Lihue Airport on the Island of Kauai. He has also worked with the HFFC in achieving savings totaling $1.7 million associated with insurance, rent and tax reductions.

After more than 30 years of service to the Australasian Aviation Ground Safety Council, founding member Norm Hogwood retired from his current position as press officer. Hogword retired from Air New Zealand in 2002 after 41 years of service, the last 27 of which were spent in the Safety Department specializing in ground safety. He helped start the AAGSC in 1982 and served as its first chairman.

Allan McArtor will take over as chairman and chief executive of the Airbus' North American business unit when current chief Sean O'Keefe steps down in March. O'Keefe, is resigning to address medical issues stemming from injuries he sustained in a 2010 aircraft crash in Alaska that killed five people, including former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. McArtor is currently chairman of Airbus Americas, which is the company's commercial aircraft division in North and South America.

Elliott Aviation hired Scott Noack as regional sales manager. Noack will be responsible for maintaining and building Elliott Aviation’s customer relationships in the South Central United States. He comes from a nearly 20-year career in aviation, including positions at Gulfstream and West Star.

Kelly Hicks, a Texas-based corporate flight attendant and student pilot received a $2,000 scholarship to put toward continuing aviation education. Each year, Avfuel Corp. provides the scholarship, which is part of the company’s AVTRIP pilots reward program. A $500 semi-finalist award was given to David McColl, a veteran of the British Army Parachute Regiment. Two additional applicants, Caitlin Connors and Anna Anderson, were awarded 10,000 AVTRIP bonus points as scholarship runners-up.