Export ‘Lift’ for Mallaghan Engineering in Asia

Award winning Dungannon company, Mallaghan Engineering has won a major contract to supply equipment to Vietnam Airlines following its participation in an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to South East Asia.

The contract, worth over £800,000, will see Mallaghan provide aircraft lifts for disabled passengers for the airline to use at Hanoi Iinternational, Ho Chi Minh and Danang airports.

The company, which employs 75 people in Dungannon and supplies a range of airport ground equipment, including aeroplane staircases, disabled lifts, baggage handling and catering trucks, took part in the recent Invest NI trade mission to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Owen McKenna, Mallaghan’s export manager, says: “As well as exploring opportunities in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, I used the mission to visit other neighbouring markets such as Vietnam and Indonesia. We had sold some equipment to Vietnam Airlines in the past and I decided to visit them again.

“I was able to show our latest product developments to their management team and was asked to quote for the disabled lifts. They were impressed by the quality and on-the-ground performance of the machine that they already had and subsequently opted for our equipment over a US competitor.

“The new contract is a significant boost for us over other international and local suppliers in the very competitive Asian marketplace. This is a developing market in which we’ve been keen to strengthen our position. It shows that by focusing on innovation, quality and customer service we can and are competing successfully in this region.

“We appreciate the advice and assistance from Invest NI’s trade programme and the flexibility associated with trade missions. We use missions to keep abreast of developments and opportunities in distant markets in Asia,” he adds.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade director, says: “We actively encourage companies to use our missions as a platform from which to develop their business and export capability across a range of markets. To help them, we’ve developed substantial knowledge and expertise here in Northern Ireland and in-market in areas such as Asia, the US, the Middle East and South Africa, as well as in markets closer to home in Europe.

“In Asia, for instance, we have an experienced trade adviser in Singapore with knowledge of and contacts in neighbouring markets such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“As Mallaghan’s latest success shows, companies can use the mission we organise to Asia, usually twice a year, to visit a number of markets. We are particularly keen to encourage established exporters to use our programmes to expand their business by visiting new markets in areas close to the main mission centres. Since visiting Asia is expensive, it makes bottom-line sense to take in other neighbouring markets during a mission,” he adds.