Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Aviation Services UK’s members now support 70% of all UK flights

Aviation Services UK’s members now support 70% of all UK flights

The trade body formed to represent aviation ground services in the UK has announced that its membership now supports an estimated 70% of flights travelling to and from the UK. This has been achieved in less than 18 months since its foundation in January 2023.

Aviation Services UK (ASUK) has gained support from nine companies with around 15,000 ground services workers across the UK – giving the sector a collective voice both within the airline industry and at government level.

Members include some of the biggest employers in the industry, with Swissport, Menzies Aviation, DHL and ABM joining the association alongside Jet2, dnata, GH London, Cobalt Ground Solutions, and CFL.

Ground services are vital to the UK’s aviation industry, yet until recently there was no trade body representing the companies in the sector.

ASUK was created to give a voice to ground services firms following major disruption to passengers across the UK and Europe in the spring and summer of 2022.

In late 2022 PA Consulting delivered a detailed analysis of the sector to support the Department for Transport’s Ground Handling Review, one of the key recommendations from which was to establish a representative body to enable better government and industry engagement.

ASUK is headed up by David Leighton FRSA, former Cabinet Office advisor and Group Head of Corporate Affairs and Marketing at Associated British Ports.

David Leighton commented, “I am motivated by giving a strong voice to the under-appreciated, underestimated, and under-represented. This has defined my career in corporate and public affairs.

“Ground services is a complex, challenging and vitally important industry, and its voice needs to be heard loud and clear.

“ASUK members do an incredible job, in very demanding circumstances, every hour of every day. Together, they are keeping the UK flying.

“It is our responsibility to help build a resilient, safe and thriving sector that supports and drives a world-leading aviation industry.”

Ground services are essential to the management of both passenger and cargo air services. They cover a range of activities including baggage handling, aircraft refuelling, ramp handling, aircraft maintenance, passenger services and much more.

In 2023, ASUK members handled more than one million flights arriving at, and departing from, UK airports. They support more than 1.5 million jobs and contribute around £5.47 billion annually to the economy.

Leighton added; “We are working hard to address the major challenges faced by the sector, with a greater voice in government, a growing membership, and positive lines of communication across the aviation industry.

“There is a long way to go, but we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

Picture of Edward Hardy

Edward Hardy

Having become a journalist after university, Edward Hardy has been a reporter and editor at some of the world's leading publications and news sites. In 2022, he became Air Cargo Week's Editor. Got news to share? Contact me on


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