Houston-based general sales agent Platinum Air Cargo USA has become a member of Europe’s ATC Group following an intensive two-year merger negotiation. Platinum USA will gradually drop its brand, and will be operating under the name of its new parent by the end of this year.
Both GSAs continue to offer their partner airlines tailored global and regional cargo management and sales solutions. ATC stressed the acquisition would not result in staff cuts either in Europe or the U.S., and offered both entities an opportunity for further growth. The merger does not affect U.K.-based Platinum Air Cargo Holdings, which will remain as an independently owned and operated business in the U.K. and other parts of Europe.
ATC’s CEO Ingo Zimmer said, “I am very pleased that we have reached an agreement which strengthens both companies and which offers the combined enterprise more promising market perspectives.”
Platinum’s U.S. founder and president Don Cochran added, “The ultimate winner of this merger will be our airline clients. They will greatly benefit from the uniform, integrated global network that our merger brings, as well as our intended IT harmonization with ATC’s global integrated IT platform.”
Cochran will maintain an equity stake in Platinum USA, and will become managing director of ATC’s new US subsidiary, which will remain headquartered in Houston.
ATC will assume Platinum’s existing U.S. office network in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. Washington, DC opens this month as the ninth U.S. office, coinciding with the launch of ATC and Platinum principal Etihad’s Washington-Abu Dhabi service.
The ATC Group is established in most of the EU countries, South Africa, China and India. Zimmer said: “Over the past 10 years, Platinum has established itself as the premier GSA in the U.S. The synergies gained from the combination of Platinum USA with the ATC Group means that Platinum is taking the next big leap in becoming a truly global actor.”
Founded in 2003, Platinum Air Cargo represents NCA Cargo, Egypt Air, Centurion Cargo and SAS Cargo as well as Etihad Cargo. It also acts for Leisure Cargo and Lufthansa Cargo Charter in various U.S. geographic regions.
ATC Aviation, a member of World Freight Company, is one of the biggest GSAs worldwide, with a portfolio of around 60 cargo airlines including ANA Cargo, Air Namibia, China Airlines Cargo, Etihad Cargo, Ethiopian Cargo, Qatar Airways, United Cargo, Tampa Cargo, Turkish Airlines and Yangtze River Express.