Aviation deal

Eagle Aviation acquires Groundcare Solutions

Flying high: Eagle Aviation

An airline baggage repatriation firm has completed an acquisition that will see it cover the majority of airline contracts at Heathrow. 

Eagle Aviation has purchased the business and assets of Groundcare Solutions (UK), a London-based handling agent that repatriates around 1,000-1,500 bags every day.

The acquisition secures 80 jobs – taking the Bathgate-headquartered firm’s headcount to beyond 200 – with plans to continue growth through hires planned across the network in London and Scotland. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Operations manager for Eagle, Samuel Milne, said: “The move will welcome many dedicated staff members to our team giving us the scale and resources to expand and grow as the industry recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The firm, operating in the UK and Northern Ireland, provides a daily service to 33 airports and 120 airline groups, with more than 40 new airlines being serviced since September.  It handles and returns about 800,000 bags per year. Clients include the major airlines.

Despite the success of Eagle Aviation, the road has been challenging for the Scottish business after the aviation sector was impacted by coronavirus travel restrictions. With passenger volumes quickly ramping up in 2021, whilst a staffing crisis and driver shortages brought many industries to a halt. 

Mr Milne added “We suffered tremendous challenges over the past 18 months with staffing levels, delays in processing airport security passes and vehicle shortages. The airports ramped up so quickly that many service providers around UK Airports struggled to keep up with the demand. 

Our services were not to the standard that we would have wanted, and we worked very hard to make significant improvements in our infrastructure to accommodate the high volumes of work”.

Eagle see the acquisition of Groundcare Solutions as a solution to build a robust service recovery for Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, further boosting the company’s presence south of the border, after its acquisition of Surrey-based Wey Group International in 2018.

Mr Milne added: “Eagle has been able to adapt aspects of business quickly throughout recent challenging times. With unpredictable fuel prices and fall out from Brexit and the pandemic still playing a major part in our operations, this acquisition will give us stability to delve into all the possibilities the current market conditions present.

Eagle Aviation was launched in 2020 by Fiona Deas and Samuel Milne is a part of Eagle Couriers.

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