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 $60bn 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 Organization (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, the world’s fastest growing airline, 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, from May 10th to 12, 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, organizers 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 finalize their procurements and look at the latest portfolio of products and solutions,” he added.
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 $347.5bn 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. Libyan Ground Services (LGS), which serves more than 50 airline operators, is among the organizations that are looking forward to benefit from the Airport Show 2015.
Omar Mansour, General Manager of LGS, said: “We are interested to expand the market for our services and this event provides us a good opportunity. The ground services industry will be back to normal (in Libya) and even more growth is expected as well.”
Reda El Filali, Vice President of Ground Handling at Royal Air Maroc (RAM), another exhibitor, said: “RAM Handling, one of the three ground handlers in Morocco, enjoys more than 60 per cent market share. Through our participation, we would like to see and benchmark the best practices. We are interested in all the areas, especially the baggage handling side.”
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. Denge Airport Equipment will be participating as an exhibitor at the Airport Show for the fourth successive year.
Murat Denge, Managing Director, Denge Airport Equipment, said: “We are targeting the Middle East market and we think that this show will be a gateway. We will be presenting the newest GSE which are improved from last year. The ground handling market will continue to grow in Middle East. The suppliers who manufacture in quantity and have the economies of scale will have an advantage in the long run.”
Airport Show-2015 will also mark Cavotec’s 15th year of showcasing its aviation engineering innovation. The Show has allowed the company to connect with airport operators and help them achieve optimum efficiency and profitability to remain competitive.
Juergen Strommer, Chief Operating Officer, EMEA Region, Cavotec SA, said: “Cavotec will showcase the new Series 2500+ converter, the first 90KW solid state converter to provide 500 per cent overload. This state-of-the-art product has been developed in order to present our clients with a global product for a global market, NGA (New Generation Aircraft) Ready and with the unique features of the Cavotec Skyway Interface, a smart interface system that expands the ways of operating Ground Power Units.”