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TAP announces new handling company at Heathrow

5th August 2008 Print
In a joint tender process, TAP along with 5 other member-companies of the Star Alliance selected the Menzies Aviation company to provide ground-based handling services at Terminal 1 at Heathrow Airport in London. With the choice of this new handling company Alliance companies hope to improve the quality of the service they provide their customers with at London Airport as well as save over 1 million euros a year.

From October 1 2008, TAP, Austrian, Croatian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa and Swiss will begin the gradual transfer from their current handling services providers to Menzies which shall take over ground-based passenger care services and also be responsible for check-in services, special and first class services. TAP predicts the transfer of its services to Menzies aviation when the transition to Terminal 1 goes through, scheduled for the first semester of 2009.

“This joint tender that involved a number of Star Alliance companies, enables us to negotiate much more advantageous conditions for our member-companies”, said Lee Hock Lye, Star Alliance Products & Services VP. “We expect to save around one million euros a year”.

“Our business consists of ensuring our customers are able to deliver their passengers and respective baggage safely and on time to their destinations. We are very satisfied to have gained the trust of Star Alliance to operate in this important strategic hub. We shall make a difference by providing a world class quality service ensuring all passengers enjoy a unique travel experience", said Phillip Harnden, Executive Commercial VP at Menzies Aviation.

Running a joint tender is not an entirely new concept for Star Alliance. In the past contracts were signed at seven European airports that enabled Alliance members to save more than six million a year.

“Handling services when purchased individually by a single company can be very expensive and play a decisive role in the profitability of airport operations. Companies realized that by working in a partnership and converging their operations at a single terminal they can not only reduce their costs but also achieve improvement on a number of levels, namely in terms of the use of resources, schedules and improved customer care support quality”, Lee Hock Lye pointed out.

This agreement with the new handling company in London comes within the scope of the Alliance "Move under one Roof at Terminal 1" project that consists of transferring Star Alliance companies to a single common space, a program that is being implemented at more than a dozen airports around the world.

Currently seven Star Alliance member-companies already operate from Terminal 1 and by the end of 2008 another five member-companies are scheduled to make the move.