Airline baggage repatriation firm Eagle Aviation has purchased the business and assets of handling agent Groundcare Solutions (UK) – acquiring the majority of London Heathrow Airport’s airline contracts.
The acquisition secures 80 jobs – taking the firm’s headcount to beyond 200 – with plans to continue growth through new hires planned across the network in both London and Scotland.
Groundcare Solutions (UK) is a London-based handling agent that repatriates around 1,000-1,500 bags every day with 90% of baggage returned within 24 hours. According to the parent company, Eagle sees the acquisition of Groundcare Solutions as an ideal 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 in 2018, based in Byfleet, Surrey.
Samuel Milne, operations manager for Eagle, 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.
“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 has been able to adapt aspects of business quickly throughout recent challenging times. With unpredictable fuel prices and fallout from Brexit and the pandemic still playing a major part in our operations, this acquisition will give us the 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.”