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The Globe and Mail

Transat to sell airport ground services unit

An Air Transat Airbus A330 is shown during the unveiling of the new interior design of Transat jets in Montreal, Thursday, May 17, 2012.

Graham Hughes/Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Transat A.T. Inc. has agreed to sell its airport services unit called Handlex to Servisair Holding Canada Inc., as it places more focus on its core, tour operator, business.

In addition to Air Transat, Handlex serves about 20 other airlines at various airports, including Trudeau International in Montreal, Pearson in Toronto and Vancouver International Airport.

The 1,200 employees at Handlex provide airport ground services, including passenger reception and check-in, baggage- and cargo-handling, aircraft cleaning and ramp services.

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Servisair provides aviation ground services in 118 locations worldwide and currently has about 15,000 employees.

The value of the transaction was not released. Servisair said closing is expected within weeks.

"This acquisition confirms Servisair's interest in strengthening its position in the Canadian aviation sector," said Servisair president and CEO Abderaman El Aoufir.

"It will allow Servisair to further develop economies of scale and provide our customers with more competitive rates in our current market environment."

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