An airline baggage repatriation firm has landed a major acquisition that will now see it cover the majority of Airline Contracts at Heathrow as it consolidates its UK market dominance.
Eagle Aviation has purchased the business and assets of Groundcare Solutions (UK) Ltd, a London-based handling agent that repatriates around 1000-1500 bags every day with 90% of baggage returned within 24 hours.
The acquisition secures 80 jobs – taking the Bathgate-headquartered firm’s headcount to beyond 200 – with plans to continue growth through new hires planned across the network in both London and Scotland.
Operations Manager for Eagle, Samuel Milne, said: “Groundcare Solutions shares our commitment to customer experience and service, while understanding how frustrating problems with luggage can be. We work in a highly fraught environment – and these values resonate with our own, which made the acquisition a perfect fit.
“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 while providing a service our customers and partners can rely on.”
The firm is now the UK and Northern Ireland’s leading baggage repatriation company providing a daily service to 33 airports and 120 airline groups, with over 40 new Airlines being serviced since September.
Handling and returning more than 800,000 bags per year to their owner-travellers, Eagle Aviation clients include Emirates, British Airways, Iberia, KLM, Air France, Ethiopian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, Loganair, Etihad, and Ryanair.
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.
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 perfect solution to build a robust service recovery for Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, further boosting the company’s presence south of the border, after their acquisition of Wey Group International Ltd in 2018 based in Byfleet, Surrey.
Samuel 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.
“We’re proud to play an even bigger role in the repatriation chain across the country following the acquisition of Groundcare Solutions and feel very pleased that our airline partners trust us with this work on their behalf”.
Eagle Aviation covers all of the main English, Welsh and Scottish regional airports as well as Belfast and Dublin.