Dungannon firm launches game-changing new ‘skybelt’ aircraft loader

Mallaghan invention expected to become a mainstay of the global aviation industry

The newly-launched Mallaghan Skybelt has been described as a game-changer for the aviation industry

Airport ground support equipment (GSE) manufacturer Mallaghan has launched a fully electric conventional belt loader which has been heralded as a ‘game-changer’ for the aviation sector.

The SkyBelt, which will be manufactured at the company’s factories in Dungannon and in Atlanta, Georgia, is an aircraft baggage loader solution which represents a significant advancement in the innovation of GSE.

Mallaghan’s chief commercial officer Joe Griffith said: “Our innovative SkyBelt will deliver several key benefits to customers, including reducing instances of aircraft damage, savings in on-going maintenance costs, and most significantly, enhancing their sustainability credentials at a time when the industry is putting a collective focus on responsible business.

“This highly anticipated belt loader will become a mainstay of the aviation industry and is being deployed already, including at large US airports like Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and LaGuardia Airport, with other significant deployments planned.

The team at Mallaghan in Dungannon who are behind the new Skybelt (DARREN KIDD)

“We hope to continue to drive industry-wide transformation through the design and delivery of innovative, future-proofed equipment to our network of valued customers and partners.”

The fully electric belt loader forms a key part of Mallaghan’s ( commitment to promoting sustainability and achieving industry-wide environmental targets. Deliveries began in 2023 and orders are currently running into 2025.

Alex Blench, general manager of GSE central services at Delta Air Lines, said: “Mallaghan came to the table with solutions to long-standing problems and delivered on every single aspect of the design.

“What the team put together is certainly class leading – it’s a game changer”.

Significant investments towards continuous research & development have allowed Mallaghan to design and manufacture several electric products including catering trucks and passenger stairs, and the company has ambitious plans to develop a fully electric portfolio by 2025.

Mallaghan Engineering was founded by Terry Mallaghan in the 1960s and branched into GSE products in 1990.

Its expanding global network of customers includes airlines, airports and ground handling companies.

Its clients include Aer Lingus, American Airlines, BA, China Eastern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, easyJet, Emirates, Etihad, Menzies Aviation, Qantas, Qatar, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, & Swissport.