JOHN Menzies has won a contract to support easyJet’s operations which it said was one of the biggest of its kind in the UK.

Edinburgh-based John Menzies will provide ground handling services for the low-cost airline at London Luton airport.

The company said the contract will involve it handling more than 24,000 turnarounds annually for the airline.

The award provides a boost for John Menzies as it looks to expand in the aviation services market it has decided to focus on.

John Menzies severed its historic links with the newspaper distribution trade in September when it sold its print distribution business to the Endless private equity firm for £74.5 million.

However, the company has faced challenges since then.

John Menzies highlighted “soft cargo volumes” and continuing labour challenges in the North American market in March when the company announced Forsyth Black had stepped down as chief executive with immediate effect.

Last week John Menzies said former chief financial officer Giles Wilson had been appointed chief executive after holding the post on an interim basis since March.

Regarding the easyJet win, Mr Wilson said: “This contract is one of the largest single ground handling contracts in the UK and I am delighted to have secured it.”

He added: “This together with other recent contract gains demonstrates that our renewed focus on our UK business is starting to pay dividends.”

John Menzies did not disclose the value of the contract.

Mr Wilson noted the firm has had a relationship with easyJet at London Luton for over 15 years.

Karen Cox, easyJet’s director of ground operations and customer management centres, said: “Menzies have refreshed their approach to working with easyJet and recognised the need for a culture of continuous improvement.”

In 2017 John Menzies lost a contract with easyJet covering Gatwick airport but continued working with the airline at other centres.