Rushlift will maintain ground support equipment at Heathrow.
Forklift dealer Rushlift Ltd has acquired the ground support equipment (GSE) maintenance facility at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) from American Airlines (AA) for an undisclosed sum.
The deal secures several jobs at the facility and marks an acceleration of the company's expansion into the market, following in the wake of contracts to supply and maintain GSE equipment for two major airlines.
Rushlift GSE will operate out of the existing LHR base at Elmdon Road, close to British Airways' Vanguard House, and will continue to support AA as well as other key customers for which it currently maintains on-ramp equipment.
Rushlift supplies and maintains airside equipment for a number of air cargo handlers, such as BA World Cargo.
"We are very excited by this acquisition and the synergies we see in bringing GSE capabilities within our operation," says managing director Graham Farquhar. "We share a passion for engineering expertise and attention to detail, but can also bring new technology and new thinking to a business that already has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and is eager to expand."
The directors have ambitious growth plans for Rushlift GSE, including developing a rental fleet business, upgraded parts support and online fleet management, and is already looking to recruit additional engineering staff, expecting to double the entire workforce within three years.
Operations manager Kevin Robins, who ran the facility on behalf of AA, will stay on and continue as a member of the management team.
"As a very successful service-based business, we feel there are many outstanding examples of best practice we can bring to help this new venture grow and develop, but it is absolutely true that we are a relative newcomer. That's where Kevin's experience and knowledge will be very influential," Farquhar says.
Operating from six UK locations with 150 engineers, Rushlift maintains over 8,000 items of varied equipment. In 2011, it signed a 10-year deal worth GBP100 million (USD155 million) to manage the materials handling fleet for Jewson owner, Saint-Gobain (Forkliftaction.com News #516)