gategroup enters joint venture with Eastern Airways

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On May 30, Eastern Airways entered into a joint venture for ground handling and catering activities with gategroup.

Under the transaction, gategroup will acquire a majority stake in Regional Handling, a wholly owned subsidiary of the airline. The new joint venture, which is called Regional Handling Ltd., will initially operate in two locations that are main bases for Eastern Airways – Aberdeen in the UK and the Isle of Man.

“This is a natural area of growth for gategroup, and in particular for member company Gate Aviation, which already offers an extensive network of airline specialty services in the U.K. and Europe,” said Guy Dubois, President and CEO Designate of gategroup. “We are delighted to join with a company that also enjoys a stellar reputation for quality service,” he added.

“Eastern Airways has been searching for a suitable strategic partner in the ground handling and catering operation, which will allow us to focus on our core business of passenger transportation,” said Richard Lake, Eastern Airways’ Managing Director. “gategroup, with its history of service in the U.K. and Europe, is a perfect choice.”

The joint venture will offer comprehensive services in the “last mile to the aircraft,” specializing in ground handling (passenger check-in, baggage handling, load control and ground operations), catering and other support services. Aside from Eastern, Regional Handling also serves Manx2, Loganair and Aer Arran.