Menzies aim to place bids for every airport of the Aena’s net and present themselves as the main foreign rival to Iberia in the handling tender, expected to have finished by the end of this year.
According to the information published by ElEconomista.es, Menzies Aviation’s chairman, Craig Smyth confirmed they placed bids for the whole airport net, paying special attention to the five biggest airports: Madrid, Barcelona, Palma, Málaga, and Alicante. All five to have 3 licenses each.
Juan Lorenzo Vidal – general director for the Menzies Aviation Spanish branch – explained they will go to the tender on their own and not in cooperation with Ferrovial or Swissport as they did in the last tender, seven years ago. The joint venture they had created was dissolved in 2011 and is the reason why Menzies are currently operating in Alicante, Murcia, Almería and Jerez, apart from Barcelona, where they deal with the General Aviation.
One of the conditions to be fulfilled by the winners of the handling tender is that they must subrogate the staff from the former operator. This is not a problem for the Menzies Aviation’s chairman as he said they have already done so in other European countries like the UK, France or Italy amongst others. “Subrogating staff is a part of our business”.
Smyth also said that they are expecting to invest between 50 and 60 million Euros in infrastructures within the offer for the handling tender.
They are expecting the tender for the five main airports starts in June so that the results can be published after the summer.
Furthermore, Juan Lorenzo Vidal said the deadline for bids on the small airports – a tender which Aena already started – is on March, 20th. Then, the winners should be known within four or six weeks.
Vidal thinks airlines prefer to contract the same handling agent both in the origin and destination “for the service negotiation to be easier“.
Apart from Menzies Aviation and Iberia, other Spanish groups like Acciona, Clece – ACS group, currently operating as Clever Handling – or Groundforce – Globalia, already confirmed their presence in the handling tender. Swissport, in the foreign side, completes the group of involved companies.
On the same subject, eldiario.es informed yesterday that Iberia may find difficulties to reach an agreement with the employees. After several weeks with optimistic announcements on the labour agreement, Iberia is requesting an extension of 22 more working days in “discontinuous periods” to 7,076 employees. Also, they are forcing salary cuts to the employees of the small airports to become attractive for the low cost airlines.