TCR International, a Belgian group specialised in the leasing of ground support equipment (GSE), announces the signing of a major contract through its subsidiary TCR Denmark with SAS for the purchase and leaseback of all vehicles, motorised or not, providing ground services to the airline on Copenhagen Airport.
Through this agreement, SAS refers TCR as main supplier of all its GSE (>5,000 units) throughout most Scandinavian airports, and consolidates TCR’s leading position in Europe. This agreement marks the culmination of the group’s expansion strategy in the region.
Founded in 2008, TCR Denmark is already providing GSE Services since quite some time to Menzies and WFS, two handlers active on Copenhagen Airport (CPH). However, the new contract with SAS Ground Handling (SGH) considerably increases the TCR activities in the region by more than 1,800 vehicles. According to the agreement, TCR acquires all SGH’s GSE and integrates SGH’s 56 technicians and employees. For this purpose, it will also build a brand-new 4,000m² workshop on CPH.
TCR’s first major contract in Scandinavia started in 2011 with the sale and rent-back of the entire fleet of Menzies’ GSE on Oslo Airport, an operation closely followed by the signature of contracts with Aviator in 2012 and with SAS in 2014. Last February, TCR launched its subsidiary TCR Sweden, based on a long-term agreement with SGH on three Swedish airports: Stockholm Arlanda, Göteborg Landvetter and Malmö.
The operation included three workshops, more than 1,200 pieces of motorised and non-motorised equipment and included the integration of 25 people in TCR’s workforce. Today, TCR is present in 19 Scandinavian airports.
The success of TCR’s rental model is due, among others, to the strong liberalisation and professionalisation of the airport handling market. Back in the late nineties, TCR was the first company that understood that this trend would generate a need for more professional GSE services and more flexible solutions. Indeed the liberalisation of the handling market has induced decreasing prices and increased contract volatility for ground handlers.
In such demanding market circumstances, companies tend to focus on their core competence (complex staff management) and outsource the rest to specialised companies. The concept of operational leasing in the airport handling sector has been very well received for 15 years, and has now largely proven its worth.
Consequently, TCR accumulated an important GSE fleet (>22,000 units) and lots of experience in optimal GSE maintenance and management. As a result TCR now manages one of the three largest GSE fleets in the world, which allows it to react very fast to customer demands and to absorb certain asset risks that its customers want to avoid.
TCR CEO Marc Delvaux said: "TCR perfectly meets the increasing expectation of the airlines and ground handlers to get flexible and reliable GSE Services. We are proud to be on the forefront of the GSE service outsourcing trend, combining on the one hand an impressive growth and expansion path whilst satisfying our existing customer base.
"This is confirmed by our customer retention rate of 96% since 15 years. By having become the market leader, we now have access to the resources necessary to stay well ahead of the market in terms of flexibility, quality and reliability. Our intention is to keep investing in our personnel, workshops and systems to continue to meet the market’s expectations, whilst proceeding our growth path in Europe and beyond."
SAS Ground Handling CEO Kjetil Habjorg said: "SAS is very pleased to have signed this Scandinavian-wide agreement with TCR. This operation makes our handling division much more flexible. We have transferred a significant structure to TCR, consisting of eight workshops, more than 100 staff and 5,000 pieces of GSE.
"We rent this back in a flexible form which allows us to easily adapt our GSE fleet to both increases and decreases in our operation. We have been working for more than two years with TCR to close this entire agreement. In our choice for TCR we valued a lot the fact that they are the world leader in terms of GSE Services, with an excellent reputation in terms of customer service as well as a responsible management of their staff."
TCR COO Tom Bellekens added: "TCR is very grateful to have completed this operation with SAS. Both companies chose a gradual implementation approach country by country. This has allowed SAS to see a proof of TCR’s quality and reliability before entering this last important phase in Denmark.
"SAS is the third important airline in Europe (after KLM and Air Europa) to outsource all its GSE, a trend that we expect to expand to other major carriers in their constant search for efficiency and flexibility improvements. The contract with SAS is a long term one, foreseeing efficiency improvements over time as well important investments (between 50 and 100 Mio Euro) in renewal of the existing GSE fleet."