License to operate

7 June 2021

Menzies’ Commercial team are known for their work in winning and renewing contracts, but sometimes the work starts long before we bid for customer contracts. Our business development specialists go through a process of securing a licence to operate, paving the way for our commercial managers to engage with potential customers.

What is a licence and why do we need one?
In many cases, handling companies need to be awarded a licence before they can bid for commercial contracts with airlines. Licences are sometimes awarded by individual airports, but sometimes a licence covers an entire country – giving the handling companies permission to bid for contracts at multiple locations.

How does the process work?
Juanlo Vidal, who was appointed SVP Commercial – Europe in 2020, explains how it works; “Licences are usually offered by the regional aviation authority or airport operator. Sometimes, multiple licences are offered and this creates a controlled market with just two or three companies competing for contracts. If we don’t hold a licence we can’t compete!

“The licence application process can be quite demanding. We need to evidence our technical ability to deliver handling services safely and how we will develop a sustainable business. We provide detailed information about all aspects of our business including HR, IT, risk management, emergency response plans and our sustainability strategy.

“Customers are often very supportive during the application process if they already know and work with us. They often support our application, providing letters of support or voting for a licence to be awarded to us.”

License to grow
Menzies’ growth strategy for the next three years relies on new and renewed licences. Our recent agreement with RAS in Pakistan gives us license to operate there and we are also applying for licences in France, South Africa, Namibia, Greece, Cyprus and Denmark. Newly appointed Director Projects, Spain, Enrique Fernandez is leading our application for licences to operate at 36 airports across the country!

“The potential market for ground handling services is worth hundreds of millions of pounds. Securing licences is the first step to building a presence within the county, which in turn creates jobs and generates sustainable income for Menzies,” says Enrique.

Want to know more about our contractual wins and renewals? Keep an eye on for all our commercial news.