As Birmingham airport celebrates carrying more than 12 million passengers in 12 months there is another reason for carriers using the airport to celebrate. A second ground handling company has started operations in Birmingham giving airlines a choice.
The new company is already servicing two airlines at Birmingham – bmi regional and Brussels Airlines and expects to see major growth along with its client airlines and the airport.
Azzurra Premiere Handling was recently formed by a link-up between Premiere Handling of Manchester and Azzurra Handling at London Heathrow.
The business provides a full range of services including check-in, boarding, push back, baggage handling and aircraft cleaning.
Julian van Gelder who has spent all his working life in aviation is the man behind the idea and has created or protected nearly 40 jobs at Birmingham Airport and further recruitment is expected.
The project has also resulted in a six figure investment in equipment and infrastructure.
“Birmingham Airport is geographically well positioned in the UK to continue its expansion,” said Julian van Gelder, who started his career with Serviseair in Manchester.
He has owned his own small airline and started Premiere Handling in Manchester in 2008.
“We are delighted about forming this partnership with Azzurra who have a reputation for very high quality at London Heathrow and will focus on creating a handling operation that will create a great passenger experience for our airline customers.
“Our objective is to provide a great service to airlines that use Birmingham and we have been able to recruit some excellent and highly experienced staff.”
It is also an exciting venture for London based Azzurra.
“This is our first step outside of the London market and we see a great opportunity to build a presence at one of the fastest growing airports in the UK, forecasted to handle over 13 million passengers in 2017,” said Vittorio Mazza of Azzurra.
“We are delighted to be working with Brussels Airlines and bmi regional who will be operating up to 16 flights a week to destinations including Graz, Gothenburg and Nuremberg,
“It is also excellent that we have been able to safeguard and create jobs and so make a contribution to the economy of Birmingham and the West Midlands.”
The arrival of Azzurra is welcomed by bmi regional. “We are pleased to be working with Azzurra and Premiere Handling and we are looking forward to building a strong presence and growing together at Birmingham,” said Paul Schutz, chief operating officer with the carrier.