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Airport Airside Services: A Global Strategic Business Report


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An electronic version (mostly PDF, but can be Excel or PPT), which is either available for immediate download or will be sent via email by the Publisher of the report. The licencing for an electronic version is for use by the purchaser ONLY.


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1 August 2011

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Global Industry Analysts

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Report: Ground Looks Shaky for Further Consolidation in the Global Airport Airside Services Market

The global market for airport airside services is forecast to reach over $42.8 billion by the year 2017, fuelled by globalization, rising air passenger traffic and international trade. Asia-Pacific and Middle East are projected to be the main growth centers for air traffic increase with a sturdy annual growth for the next few years. Hectic economic development, cross border trade, spurt in international tourism and popularity of low cost airlines will trigger further growth in the aviation sector. Government sops and favorable ‘open skies' liberalization policies throw open the market for intense competition, enhanced products and services and rapid development.

The aviation sector is one the most vibrant and borderless industries worldwide. In the intensely competitive global business environment where airlines vie to provide best-of-class domestic and international flights, the choice of qualified ground handling companies is extremely critical. These companies offer a wide spectrum of services to the airlines with special focus on ramp, baggage, freight, passenger, in-flight catering and mail handling. Over the years, ground-handling companies have been increasingly expanding both in size and network to meet ever-changing requirements of the highly dynamic global airlines. Operating in a single location is no longer deemed sufficient for success in the industry. A global network is the need of the time, and ground handlers have been rapidly expanding network via strategic partnerships, alliances and acquisitions. The economic importance of this behind-the-screen industry is obvious, with annual turnover crossing about US$70 billion globally.

According to Global Industry Analysts, the Ground Handling industry is home to a vast number of heterogeneous companies ranging from independent handlers, airlines, logistics providers, and catering firms to aircraft construction and equipment manufacturers. The industry largely depends on the skill sets and capabilities of personnel. Hence companies expend huge sums on employee training and service quality improvisations. Independent service providers constitute nearly 40% of the market, mainly dominated by airlines with in-house ground handling facilities. Independent handlers are forecast to significantly enhance penetration, and are likely to capture a significant chunk of market by the year 2016.

There has been an unprecedented rise in demand for air transportation in the past few years, encouraged mainly by increased globalization and international trade. Ground handling companies engaged in airside services witnessed a substantial increase in private equity investments and consolidations over the past few years, providing a major boost to market growth. In addition, liberalization policies threw the market open for a large number of new entrants, pushing competition levels several notches higher. Asia-Pacific and Middle East are projected to be the main growth hubs in terms of traffic increase. Air travel is predicted to grow at a robust growth rate in these regions through 2020, well above the world average growth rate of about 5.0%.

In the future, airlines are predicted to increase outsourcing of ground handling jobs to low cost markets in order to focus on core activities. Sustainable profit margins in the industry will depend on increasing visibility, reach and consumer loyalty through widespread consolidation and superior service. Client lock-ins with long-term contracts is a major necessity to beat competition and meet challenges. Similar to several other industries, technology will dominate the future in services and companies need to take cognizance and be technologically savvy in all aspects.

The United States represents the single largest market for airport airside services. The trio of US, Europe and Asia-Pacific collectively capture a lion's share of the global market. The Asian region, spurred by burgeoning markets of China, India, Singapore and Australia, is forecast to race ahead at a CAGR of about 6.0% through 2017. The airport airside services market is broadly segmented by Ramp Handling and other services. Ramp handling, accounting for a major share of the global market, comprises baggage handling, freight and mail handling parking, aircraft cleaning and other activities.

The world market for Airport Airside Services is considered highly fragmented, with the top ten industry players currently making up a meager share in the total market. Consolidation, although slow for the present, is expected to pick up pace in the future. Key market participants include Aviapartner, Aircraft Service International Group, Inc (ASIG), Dnata, Menzies Aviation Plc., National Aviation Services (NAS), Serviços Auxiliares de Transporte Aéreo SA, Servisair, Bliss-Fox Ground Support Equipment Pty. Ltd, TLD Group, LSG Sky Chefs, Gate Gourmet, SATS Ltd., among several others.

The research report titled Airport Airside Services: A Global Strategic Business Report by Global Industry Analysts provides a comprehensive review of industry /service overview, trends and issues, aircraft ground handling market, regulatory environment, service introductions, recent industry activity and profiles of market players worldwide. Analysis and overview is provided for major geographic markets such as US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. Market analytics are provided in value (US$) terms for service segments, Ramp Handling and Others. The study also provides historic data for an insight into market evolution over the period 2003 through 2008. Global Industry Analysts ©

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