NAS and Colossal Africa to Acquire South Africa’s Largest Ground Handler – BidAir Services

PUBLISHED: Mon, 26 Apr 2021 08:15:07 GMT

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South Africa’s largest ground handling company, BidAir Services will be changing hands. National Aviation Services (NAS) (, Colossal Africa and a consortium comprised of the current executive management team have signed an agreement to acquire BidAir Services from the Bidvest Group. The closing of the acquisition is subject to fulfilling final requirements from the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) that manages South African airports as well as other regulatory approvals.

BidAir Services provides quality-handling services including passenger and ramp handling, load control and operations, cleaning, toilet and water services, amongst others at nine South African airports. The airports include three main international gateways – O.R. Tambo International in Johannesburg, Cape Town International and King Shaka International in Durban. BidAir’s clientele of over 28 major airlines includes international carriers such as Emirates, Etihad Airways, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air France, Ethiopian Airlines and RwandAir.

Once the transaction is complete and regulatory approvals are obtained, BidAir Services will join the largest airport services network in Africa – NAS. 

Discussing the acquisition, Hassan El-Houry, Group CEO of NAS said: “NAS prides itself on its global expertise and local knowledge. We believe that the success of the aviation industry in Africa is tied to its economic prosperity and have made significant investments into the industry across the continent. We look forward to adding BidAir Services, the largest South African ground handling company to our expanding network.”

NAS and Colossal Africa are committed to investing into the development of facilities and infrastructure, latest equipment, technology, recruitment and training. Green technology and paperless digital platforms will also be an important part of the operational landscape. The inclusion of the executive management team as part of the acquiring group will also ensure that there is a smooth transition to the new owners with no disruption to the excellent services that BidAir’s clients have become accustomed.

El-Houry emphasized: “BidAir Services is known for its excellent customer service. With its experienced management team and dedicated workforce, we can add value by reinforcing its capabilities, training and investment into the company to further enhance its position in the local market. With NAS, Colossal Africa and BidAir Services joining hands, we will ensure the highest level of airport handling services in South Africa.”

Following the acquisition, NAS will also focus on training to develop the knowledge and skills of local South African youth while offering more employment opportunities and career options with an emphasis on employment equity. One of the key offerings will also include the integration of IT and healthcare to support civil aviation and government authorities during emergencies such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.  

Established in 2003, NAS is one of the leading aviation service providers in 20 countries across Africa, South Asia and the Middle East.

El-Houry added: “NAS is the largest ground handler in Africa and this acquisition will further cement our position in the continent’s largest market. We will be growing our footprint with a presence in over 55 airports, managing more than 50 lounges with over 8,000 employees of 65 different nationalities at the core of our worldwide network.”

Cingashe Motale, Director of Colossal Africa highlighted: “As a 100% black-women owned (BWO) Investment Holdings company – managed and operating in the South African market – our strategy focuses on the development of local capabilities while building a globally competitive company through strategic acquisitions and partnerships in our chosen sectors. This transaction involves all the elements that form part of that strategy and working with a partner of such calibre as NAS puts us on a path that fits all the pieces together.” 

Colossal Africa is a Level-1 B-BBEE company that focuses on identifying and investing in economically viable business opportunities in various and very strategic sectors that range from – but are not limited to – aviation, infrastructure and logistics. This acquisition in particular will allow Colossal Africa to contribute towards the sustainability of the air transport system on the African continent.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of National Aviation Services (NAS).

For additional information or media queries, please contact:
Nita Bhatkar
Senior Manager
PR & Corporate Social Responsibility: National Aviation Services (NAS)
T: +965 1 842 842 Ext 309
Direct: +965 24372309
C: +965 97223703

Miranda Lusiba
Founding Director: Strangé Consulting (PR, Comms, Media Relations & Reputation Management)
C: +27 (0) 78 675 1297/+27 (0) 68 029 8760

About: National Aviation Services – the fastest growing aviation services provider in emerging markets:
National Aviation Services (NAS) is the fastest growing aviation services provider in the emerging markets.

Established in 2003, NAS quickly transformed from a Kuwait based ground handling company into an emerging markets leader in the industry. NAS is present in over 50 airports across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, handling seven of the world’s top 10 airlines and managing more than 50 airport lounges.

With an employee base of over 8,000 capable and experienced employees at the core of its worldwide network, NAS is committed to providing aviation services that benchmark to the best in the world.

The NAS portfolio of services includes ramp and passenger services, cargo management, engineering and line maintenance, airport technologies, fixed base operations, terminal management, aviation training, travel solutions, lounge management and meet-and-assist packages.

Affiliated with leading industry organizations, NAS follows international aviation standards with certifications from ISO, EMS, RA3 and OHSAS practices. NAS is one of the first ground handlers in the world to obtain the IATA’s Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) certification illustrating the company’s commitment to providing high quality services, with a focus on safety and security.

About: Colossal Africa:
Colossal Africa is the coming together of two phenomenal women from South Africa: Gwen Mahuma and Cingashe Motale. This formation came from a common vision and desire for a better Africa as well as a more ethical and collaborative approach to deal-structuring on the continent.

This 100% Black and Women-Owned (BWO) Investment Holdings company has a significant footprint and network in various countries in Africa. This Level-1 B-BBEE rated company has an extensive track record of having worked with some of the biggest and most exciting brands on the continent in various capacities. Colossal Africa has experience in the Steel industry, manufacturing, and construction sectors. In the countries where it has identified projects, the company has strategic partners that have been specifically identified to satisfy local empowerment laws, local knowledge as well as local content requirements. Its areas of focus include: Aviation; Infrastructure Development; Rolling Stock; Construction and Logistics.

Colossal Africa’s investment opportunities are driven by the company’s need to contribute towards real transformation and empowerment; this is achieved through strategic acquisitions and collaborations with technical partners in chosen sectors both locally and internationally. The company continues to focus on identifying and investing in economically viable business opportunities in various and very strategic sectors.

What remains crucial for Colossal Africa is its focus on the development of local capabilities, while building a globally competitive company. For Colossal Africa, these kinds of acquisitions provide the company with just that – an opportunity to share best practice ideas and expertise of its international associates with the ultimate objective of ensuring optimum skills transfer and growth of local business. This acquisition in particular allows Colossal Africa to contribute towards the sustainability of the air transport system on the African continent.

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