Mallaghan forced to shed dozens of jobs in 2020 as Covid cut revenues by 39 per cent

Mallaghan had landed a deal to supply Ryanair with 32 airport buses in the lead up to the pandemic.

CO Tyrone engineering group Mallaghan was forced to cut dozens of jobs last year amidst the global crisis in aviation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Edendork-based company, which manufactures ground support vehicles for the aviation industry, saw its income fall by almost £27 million (39 per cent) to £43m last year.

A set of accounts published by Companies House showed Mallaghan ended the 12 months to December 31 2021 with a loss before tax of just under £1m.

Despite turning to the furlough scheme, the impact of the pandemic on the engineering business saw it forced to cut its workforce from 365 to 291, with most of the job losses in the production end of the business.

Mallaghan had been one of the north's engineering success stories in the lead up the March 2020 pandemic. Its ability to land contracts with major global airlines such as Delta, Emirates, Etihad and British Airways had sparked a surge in growth.

The Co Tyrone company had also successfully expanded into the development of airport buses, landing a multimillion pound contract with Ryanair in October 2019.

But managing director Ronan Mallaghan said demand for air travel in 2020 was approximately two-thirds less than that of 2019.

“As would be expected this had a significant impact on the demand for the ground support equipment we manufacture for airlines and airports across the world,” he said.

“However, with all challenges come opportunity, and that is how we have approached the last 18 months.”

Mr Mallaghan said the engineering firm had reviewed its processes at all levels of the business and altered its R&D strategy to reflect the new needs of the aviation industry post-pandemic.

“Despite the challenging conditions we continued to invest in our people and in R&D, resulting in the launch of our new i-tec brand to further develop our range of eco-friendly and electric products that will assist customers achieve the industry's environmental targets,” he said.

“Air travel demand is returning at a different pace across the world and we are looking to new opportunities in markets such as China and the United States where a return to air travel has happened much faster than in Europe.

“With continued success in these markets and the healthy orders we are already seeing for 2022, I anticipate Mallaghan will see a prompt return to profit."

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