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Airport handler Aviator loses major airline

The pan-Nordic airport handling provider loses a contract with an important customer to a competitor.

The pan-Nordic airport handling provider Aviator has lost a contract with one of its most important customers in the Norwegian market.

Air France-KLM will leave Aviator at all of Norway’s airports effective from April 1, with the exception of Stavanger and Oslo. The Franco-Dutch group will instead change its handling partner to competitor Widerøe Ground Handling.

Measured in terms of volume of flights, KLM is the fourth-biggest carrier at Norway’s airports after SAS, Norwegian and the regional carrier Widerøe.

Two competitors
On the ground at 17 airports, Aviator provides aviation services from passenger and baggage handling through to de-icing, cargo and airport security and regularly uses its Nordic Dino aircraft washing robot.

Founded in December 2010 when it bought the Swedish company Nordic Aero and two Norwegian companies Røros Flyservice and Norport Ground Handling, it expanded several months later with the purchase of the Danish companies Novia and Sturup Handling.

It then bought, in 2014, the Servisair and Swissport operations at Gatwick, Birmingham, Newcastle and Helsinki and in 2015 added Manchester to its network. It later exited all UK operations except Manchester.

Last summer, Aviator appointed a new commercial director for Sweden and Norway, Peter Stackeryd, previously of LSG Sky Chefs.

Widerøe Ground Handling, meanwhile, provides ground handling services at 41 airports throughout Norway. Like the airline Widerøe it has its main office in Bodø, but its largest operations are at Bergen Flesland Airport.

A subsidiary of Widerøes Flyveselskap AS since June 2015, its spectrum of services includes ramp handling, passenger handling, de-icing, cargo handling, call-centre services and security.

In February 2016, Widerøe Ground Handling took over SAS’s ground operations in Norway at airports throughout the country with the exception of Oslo Gardermoen, on a five-year contract.

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