Rumours are circulating that the aviation arm of John Menzies, the newspaper and magazine distributor, could take over from baggage handlers Swissport at Gatwick Airport if a repeat of last months’ baggage fiasco occurs.
The airport was forced to apologise to hundreds of passengers who were told to go home empty-handed because of what was later described as a ‘failure to meet service levels’ by Swissport.
Following the debacle, Monarch Airlines cancelled two Swissport contracts at Gatwick and Manchester, while International Consolidated Airlines said it will ‘look at other opportunities’ should the delays continue.
John Menzies provides cargo and passenger ground-handling services, including ticketing, check-in, baggage reclamation and passenger lounge facilities, which makes up two-thirds of its current aviation business revenue. There is no doubt that share prices would make a dramatic increase should they take over from Swissport as Gatwick and Manchester airports baggage handlers.
Edinburgh airport has become the first to bring multi-airline bag drop system operation to the UK in a move that has seen them install ten, new self-service kiosks and web-based software that operates a fully common, shared bag drop facility for its passengers.
Operated by EasyJet and FlyBe, passengers will retain control of their entire check-in experience, from online check-in and self-printed boarding pass to baggage weigh in and luggage tag attachment, when they will be directed to a drop off point to dispatch their luggage.
Although new to Edinburgh and the UK, this system is in operation in CUTE platforms across the world and is designed to streamline airport operations. Using common-use functions for bag drop system operation speeds up the check-in process and allows cost-sharing within the terminal, also freeing up premium space.
This is just the beginning for Edinburgh airport, as they plan to continue a programme of investment for the installation of the latest technological solutions. Later this year, they plan to carry out a trial for a baggage storage facility, where passengers will be able to check-in luggage in advance of the flight.
David Wilson, chief operating officer at Edinburgh Airport, says: “New ownership has allowed us to be creative in the way we look at the check-in process. A huge amount of research, engagement and investment has gone into this new process and we’re delighted to officially launch the first multi-airline common bag drop facility in the UK with our partners at easyJet and Flybe.