South African Airways (SAA) Cargo has appointed Menzies Aviation to provide air cargo services at OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport (CPT), and Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ).

The first phase of Menzies’ appointment started on 1 December 2022, with the handling of all SAA Cargo terminal operations in Cape Town. The second phase will begin at OR Tambo in the coming weeks.

Professor John Lamola, SAA chairperson and CEO, said: “This milestone is an important one, it is part of our efforts to re-position SAA Cargo and unlock the value of SAA Cargo terminals. It also allows management to focus on critical strategic goals to grow our cargo business.”

The appointment of Menzies, the world’s largest aviation services company. followed a rigorous procurement process and is part of the ongoing restructuring process that SAA is implementing post-Business Rescue.

“The partnership with SAA aligns with the strategy to grow Menzies’ footprint in Africa, where we see huge potential for growth,” said Philipp Joeinig, CEO, Menzies Aviation.

“SAA is an important player in the cargo industry and this partnership is a real game changer for our business in South Africa as we are now based in the largest air cargo facilities in the country in the two main air freight ports. It also aligns with our long-term vision to strengthen our position as the leading aviation services provider in Africa.”

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By GlobalData

SAA Cargo, which serves regional destinations between Johannesburg and eight African destinations, and Menzies are currently undertaking renovations of the terminals at OR Tambo, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth with sustainability in mind.

The facilities, which will remain part of SAA’s property portfolio, are the largest in South Africa. OR Tambo has the capacity to handle 229,000 tonnes per year and Cape Town has a capacity of 92,550 tonnes per year.

Menzies will move its existing and new business into the cargo handling facilities.

In August 2022, Kuwait-based Agility Public Warehousing Company completed the acquisition of Menzies in a deal valued at about $693.6m (£571m) on a fully diluted basis.