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KGS and AFSL merge at London City and Heathrow to form Cobalt Ground Solutions

20th February 2009 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


KLM Ground Services Ltd (KGS) and Air France Services Ltd (AFSL) will merge their operations at London City and London Heathrow airports on 1 April to become Cobalt Ground Solutions. The new company will be the largest ground handling operator at Heathrow Terminal 4 and at London City. The union represents the first full merger between two Air France-KLM Group subsidiaries.

Cobalt will employ all staff (782) at KGS and AFSL from 1 April 2009. The new company will have an operating turnover of more than £36 million and has a current client portfolio of 26 international and domestic airlines. The new organisation says it will offer "the most extensive services currently possible under licence by any ground handling operator at both London Heathrow and London City airports", from passenger check-in, concierge and ticketing through to ramp handling, de-icing and aircraft towing.

As part of the merger, Cobalt will invest substantial funds in upgrading its information communications technology and accommodation, used to facilitate services for its airline customers, who will also benefit from new central airside accommodation for crew briefings, access to all airline systems in all operational areas and the use of premium computer-based-training rooms.

The name Cobalt was decided upon as a fusion of the Air France and KLM blue colours and to emphasise the strength of the services and experience offered by the new company. The neutral name will also avoid any possible brand conflicts with airline customers.

Over the next 2 months, the new Cobalt Ground Solutions branding will be rolled out across staff uniforms, ground services equipment, corporate and marketing materials. 

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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