Air BP and Grupa Lotos Sign Aviation Agreement

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Up, up and away for new venture?

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Air BP, the aviation fuel services division of BP, has signed an agreement with Grupa Lotos to form a new joint venture to manage the supply, logistics and marketing of aviation fuel in Poland.

The new joint venture, Lotos – Air BP Polska, will be formed by Air BP buying 50 percent of Lotos Tank, the wholly owned aviation subsidiary of Grupa Lotos. Air BP and Lotos will be equal shareholders in the company with both bringing valuable strengths and expertise.

Initially Lotos – Air BP Polska will operate at Gdansk (GDN), Warsaw (WAW) and Krakow (KRK) airports. The only change will be to the name of the company, to Lotos – Air BP Polska, reflecting the change in ownership.

Both companies are committed to significantly growing the presence of the new joint venture in the aviation fuel market in Poland. Lotos – Air BP Polska will leverage Air BP’s global customer relationships and technical operations experience, as well as Grupa Lotos’ local expertise and supply capability.

The deal is expected to be completed in the next six to eight weeks subject to competition authority approval.

David Gilmour, Air BP Chief Executive said: “We are always looking for new opportunities to grow the Air BP business. Poland is the country with the fastest growing aviation fuel sales in Europe and we have found a strong, local partner in Lotos. As always our top priority is going to be managing safe and reliable operations. We will share our technical knowledge to assist the joint venture to operate to industry standards and ensure that everyone who works at the airport locations stays safe.”

“From the perspective of Lotos Tank’s development, it is an important year,” said Maciej Szozda, Lotos Group Vice-President of the Management Board and Chief Commercial Officer “In January, the Company commenced sales of aviation fuel ‘into plane’ at Warsaw Chopin Airport, and will soon provide the same services at Kraków’s John Paul II airport. The beginning of our cooperation with Air BP not only gives Lotos a possibility of competitive development in Poland, but also, and more importantly, is a great opportunity for foreign expansion, which we will surely utilise.”

Alexander Junge, Performance Unit Leader Northern & Central Europe, Air BP said: “through the Lotos – Air BP Polska joint venture we are establishing a significant presence in Poland. We will now be able to provide our commercial airline customers with aviation fuel through our newly formed joint venture when they fly to Poland, and we will expand our general aviation network by enabling customers to use their Air BP Sterling card at all the joint venture’s new locations.”

“Poland is an important market for BP,”said Bogdan Kucharski, General Manager of BP Europe, SE, Polish Branch. “Since 1991 BP has invested almost US$1 billion in Poland. BP is among the 15 biggest companies in Poland and we are the leader in the fuels retail sector with over 455 service stations. While pursuing our strategy of significantly increasing our presence in Poland we are typically investing tens of millions of dollars per year. We believe in investing in success in Poland.”

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