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New baggage handler moves into Birmingham Airport

Around 40 jobs have been saved or created after Azzurra Premiere Handling takes contracts at the airport

Forty jobs have been saved or created at Birmingham Airport following a six-figure investment.

Baggage handling company Azzurra Premiere Handling, which already operates at Manchester and Heathrow airports, is providing a second ground handling business to serve the airlines that use Birmingham.

The initiative has created or saved nearly 40 jobs at the airport and the company said further expansion was expected.

Azzurra Premiere Handling has already won contracts to support BMI Regional and Brussels Airlines with a full range of ground-based services including check-in, boarding, baggage handling, push back and aircraft cleaning.

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Azzurra Premiere Handling is a newly formed company between Premiere Handling of Manchester and Azzurra Handling at London Heathrow.

Director with Premiere Handling Julian van Gelder said: "This is an excellent airport that is well located at the heart of the country with great road and rail links.

"The runway has been extended, enabling direct flights to the west coast of the United States and other places in the world that were not previously accessible.

"Birmingham and the West Midlands also remains a powerhouse.....there are great opportunities for growth in both business and leisure passengers."

Vittorio Mazza, director with Azzurra, added: "This is our first step outside of the London market and we see a great opportunity to build a presence at one of the fastest growing airports in the UK, forecasted to handle over 13 million passengers in 2017."

Last year, Birmingham Airport was at the centre of a row over baggage handling services when Aviator decided it was pulling out of the airport and removing nearly 200 staff.

Its handling services were subsequently taken over by Swissport but then its own staff threatened strike action in the run up to Christmas before eventually cancelling the planned walkout.

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