Menzies Aviation has bought a majority interest in Jamaican ground and cargo handling firm AJAS for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is scheduled to complete in the coming weeks, subject to regulatory clearance.

For more than eight decades, AJAS has been operating in Jamaica and currently has nearly 600 employees.

The company offers ramp, passenger, and cargo handling services to various international airlines at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Menzies Aviation Americas executive vice-president John Redmond said: “We have provided ground services in the Caribbean for over 20 years, and we are excited to be expanding our footprint to Jamaica at a time when its aviation industry is experiencing a post Covid-19 pandemic recovery.

“The Menzies AJAS combination brings together local knowledge, relationships and expertise, which will strengthen our position in this market. We look forward to working with the AJAS team to grow the business under the Menzies brand.”

Upon deal completion, AJAS will be rebranded as Menzies AJAS.

This rebranding, along with AJAS’ integration into the Menzies global network, will begin this month.

The existing AJAS leadership will be retained to manage the strategic goal of establishing Menzies AJAS as the ‘handler of choice’ for all air carriers operating in Jamaica.

AJAS chairman Howard Mitchell said: “Partnering with Menzies will add tremendous value to our business, which has gone from strength to strength over the past 82 years.

“AJAS has always been recognised as a good employer in Jamaica, and we are proud of our strong relationships with our hard-working and long-standing employees.

“We have a shared vision with Menzies and are aligned on the value of our employees and how we look after them, which, in turn, maximises the service they provide, as well as the return to our stakeholders.”