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

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 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.

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