Ground handling services were earlier conducted by the airlines themselves at the commercial airports. But with the growth of the aviation industry, airlines started to contract with third parties for these services to focus on their business and lower the labour and equipment costs. However, the airport industry has also evolved, therefore the airports have considered providing ground handling services to the airlines.
But before indulging into providing these services, the airports should consider some of the related advantages and disadvantages suggested by some expert airline consulting firms.
The first advantage that the airports experience by providing aircraft ground handling services, is the window for potential revenue opportunities.
Airports implement innovative ideas to generate new revenue and hence become less dependent on services such as landing fees and lease space.
Another opportunity that should be considered is air service development.
Airlines prefer airports for ground handling as it reduces staffing, training headaches, equipment costs and provides reasonable turn rates.
Another advantage of providing ground services is the airport’s ability to control customer service.
For example, some airports take very less time to get luggage in baggage claim, hence such airports are preferred more by the passengers. Therefore, the better the airports services are, the more it will be successful.
One aspect that needs to be analysed is the labor pool and turnover that normally occurs with low paid jobs.
The successful ground handling depends on the amount a company pays in the wages and the quality of service.
In some cases the margins are so slim that if a station has one or two workman compensation claims that the location loses money.
Airports also suffer potential losses due to personal injuries.
In addition to this, airports must establish an intensive training program to limit liability. This program should be established in conjunction with an expert to promote awareness and specific knowledge.
There are some other risks involved such as increased liability, financial losses, as well as negative customer and airline relations, if the operation is not done correctly. These issues are well addresses when the airport outsources ground handling to an experienced airline consulting firm.
Considering the above points, before entering airport ground handling services, the airport should determine whether it wants to provide the service independently or under partnership with a successful ground handling firm.
The airports should conduct a feasibility study. The airports can also develop a business plan, taking into consideration their resources. All these steps can be taken under the guidance of a consultant or an expert.
The airports should further evaluate the market, calculate the break event point, determine the potential impact upon air service development and assess the services to offer.
Aviation Analysts International is an aviation consulting firm that provides the best consultancy and solutions for air transport and related services to the top aviation companies