October 21, 2021: National Aviation Services (NAS) has signed a strategic partnership agreement to acquire a 51 percent stake in Kenya’s Siginon Aviation, a subsidiary of Siginon Group that provides complete airport ground handling and cargo management services.

Established in Kuwait in 2003 and now present in over 55 airports across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, NAS, through this partnership, has expanded its presence in Africa with two airports in Kenya – Nairobi and Eldoret. This adds to NAS’s growing network in Africa and strengthens its presence as the largest ground handler in the region. In the last year despite the challenges posed by the Covid crisis, NAS successfully launched operations in 14 airports across South Africa, DRC, Guinea Bissau and Zambia.

Hassan El-Houry, Group CEO of NAS said, “During the pandemic, our cargo services came to the forefront by keeping crucial supply chains flowing uninterrupted. With the ongoing vaccine requirements around the world, we also handled almost a million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine at different African airports. With this growing demand, we expanded our focus on cargo management in Africa and the partnership with Siginon Aviation is indeed timely.”

The release reads, “A combination of NAS’s global presence and expertise in airport services with Siginon Aviation’s experience in Kenya will successfully strengthen the ground handling, ramp handling and cargo handling capabilities in the region, especially in East Africa.”

Meshack Kipturgo, Siginon Group’s managing director added, “We foresee great promise for business and growth for both, our staff and our customers through service delivery - now and into the future. This partnership is a true reflection of our mutual ambition to make a positive mark in service excellence, extend our footprint in Kenya and beyond as we jointly tap onto the opportunities present in the cargo and aviation sector.”

In the last decade, Siginon Aviation has enhanced its ground handling capacity with several upgrades including relaunching its operations in a state-of-the-art air cargo terminal and acquisition of ramp equipment to boost its operations in JKIA, Nairobi. This has seen the company receive several industry certifications and accolades including ISAGO, RA3, and ISO9001: 2015 as well as awards for excellence in business, leadership, customer focus, marketing, HR development and cargo.

El-Houry also highlighted “In 2018, we committed to investing $50 million into the African aviation sector over a period of three years. With the pandemic, the global aviation industry suffered a major slowdown and NAS experienced an 85 percent drop in revenue. Despite the challenges, we remained focused on our commitment to the sector and thrived during a very difficult period. This is greatly because of the exceptional goodwill we built with all our stakeholders – our employees, customers, partners and governments, all mutually supporting each other during this difficult time.”

NAS provides ground-handling services to over 100 airlines globally, manages more than 50 airport lounges across its network and offers an extended portfolio of services that includes innovative technology solutions and training.

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