Ground handing industry to benefit hugely from Middle East aviation boom

DUBAI: The multi-billion dollar expansion of airports and airline fleets in the Middle East has set off immense growth prospects for the ground handling industry players with both airports and airlines operators keen on acquiring latest technologies to meet the rising air traffic and ensure greater efficiency, performance and profitability amidst stiff competition.

A CAPA study suggests nearly US$60 billion was being spent on airport developments in the Middle East region. A substantial portion of regional airports’ expansion budgets has been earmarked for airside facilities development.

The Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) said the number of passengers flying through Arab airports will grow to 571 million by 2026. The fleet count of Arab carriers will grow from 1069 to 1685.

Emirates Airline, the world’s fastest growing, alone is expected to carry 80 million passengers by 2020 on its network from its Dubai hub. Similarly ambitious are the growth targets of Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, which along with Emirates, have been changing the contours of the aviation industry.

The 15th edition of Airport Show, which will run between 10-12 May 2015, will feature a ‘Meet the Buyer’ programme exclusively for the region’s ground handling industry which is keen on making the facilities compatible with the changing expectations of the aviation industry.

The world’s top-league B2B event is supported by Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Dubai Airports, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) and dnata, one of the world’s largest ground handlers dealing with over 90 million travellers a year in about 20 countries.

Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director at Reed Exhibitions Middle East, organisers of Airport Show, said: “As regional aviation expansion continues, ground handling providers are expanding infrastructure and improving operational efficiency to cope with growing service demands and expectations.” “Airports require significant upgrades, expansions and improvement in aircraft ground handling systems, operations and services and they turn to Airport Show to finalise their procurements and look at the latest portfolio of products and solutions.” A report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) suggests up to half of ground handling services in airports around the world are outsourced. Hub airports have acted as a third party ground handling unit in major destinations and some airports control the entire ground operations of all incoming flights.

Based on the findings of the latest GH System Market research, the global ground handling industry, valued at around US$347.5 billion in 2014, is expected to continue growing at a steady pace. The forecasted expansion spells great opportunities for many industry players worldwide.

Ground Handling Systems (GHS) are used to provide services to aircrafts during landing and take-off. These include aircraft marshaling, loading, unloading, refueling, catering, passenger handling, and aircraft maintenance.

Companies coming to the Airport Show 2015 are keen on business networking and exploring the latest technologies and solutions for their procurement needs. The Airport Show will have a ‘Meet the Buyer’ programme that will help exhibitors get new business leads.

Airport Show will provide a comprehensive range of products, services and technologies for regional ground handlers to view and procure at the event.

Products on display will include passenger boarding bridges, aircraft docking guidance systems, aircraft preconditioned air systems, rubber removal machines, aircraft tow-bars, passenger stairs, baggage carts, catering trucks, pre-conditioned air units and auxiliary power units (APUs), amongst others.

SOURCE: WAM