Menzies targets emerging markets

posted on 5th June 2023
Menzies targets emerging markets

Menzies Aviation is not alone in targeting growth in Saudi Arabia, but its Memorandum of Understanding signed with SAL Saudi Logistics Services in January has positioned the global services provider well to develop in the Kingdom.
“As infrastructure develops and new airlines arrive there is going to be a need [for more ground service providers] and we see a gap in the market to serve low-cost carriers,” said Charles Wyley, Executive Vice-President, Middle East, Africa and Asia, at Menzies Aviation, based in Dubai.
The idea is that SAL and Menzies will explore opportunities to collaborate at some of the 17 or so stations in Saudi Arabia as opportunities arise. SAL is the market leading air cargo handler in the Kingdom and recently obtained a license to provide passenger handling services in Saudi airports from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
The current market players in Saudi Arabia are Saudi Ground Services Company and Swissport.
As it eyes Saudi Arabia, Menzies wants to continue growing the MEAA region and “enter new countries and develop further as part of our vision to grow in emerging markets,” Wyley told ARGS. This includes Africa, where the combination of Menzies and National Aviation Services sees it present in this continent in 19 countries , making it the largest aviation services provider in Africa. More broadly, Menzies has operations in 25 MEAA countries in 61 airports with 11,000 employees.
“Our ambition is to grow faster in MEAA than other regions because of the different size and opportunities in these markets,” said Wyley. Growth can be organic, through RfPs, via acquisitions, or in joint ventures.
For instance, the Menzies joint venture with Royal Airport Services in Pakistan, formed in 2021, is proving fruitful winning business from airblue and Jazeera Airways at various airports in the country.
The integration of Menzies and NAS is progressing well, with Kuwait one of the final countries to be integrated later this summer, said Wyley.
An attractive feature of the merger was the lack of overlap in operations between the two businesses. One of these markets was South Africa, where Menzies has been strong since 2008, while NAS along with partner Colossal acquired BidAir Handling from the Bidvest Group in 2021.
In October 2022, Menzies Aviation was awarded a five-year license to provide ground handling services at nine airports across South Africa by Airports Company South Africa. NAS has since divested its stake in Colossal as part of the merger process.
“It is good that ACSA has reduced the number of handlers in South Africa from three to two as three was too many,” said Wyley. Menzies dominates the market in terms of domestic carriers, winning FlySafair business in March and expanding on the cargo front by taking over former South African Airways cargo facilities.