AOTGA advances in Thailand

posted on 5th June 2023
AOTGA advances in Thailand

AOT Ground Aviation Services (AOTGA) is seeking to significantly expand its operations in Thailand with a bid to win the third handling licence at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Niwat Thanintrawat, Commercial Director of AOTGA, told ARGS at the IGHC.
If successful, it this will mark the next phase in AOTGA’s growth since it started operations in 2019 at Don Mueang International Airport, followed by Phuket in 2020, he said. The services provider was established in 2018 in a joint venture by Airports of Thailand (AOT), which is a 49% shareholder in AOTGA, with the majority held by SAL Group (Thailand) Co Ltd.
The independent licensing process will see the winner entering the market at Suvarnabhumi, the capital’s main gateway, in April 2024, alongside Bangkok Flight Services and the Thai Airways ground handling unit.
“There is a need for a third handler as two is not sufficient. There is a shortage of manpower and equipment, and the capacity is needed as the airport grows past 50 million passengers [annually],” said Thanintrawat.
The aim for AOTGA is to enter all six of AOT’s six airports over time as concessions become available to bid on, said Thanintrawat.
The firm has expanded to serve 40 carriers at Don Mueang and 75 at Phuket. Beginning operations at these smaller airports has been a sensible move for AOTGA, enabling it to ramp up its workforce, equipment levels, and processes. It is in the process of becoming IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations certified, which is expected to happen by August, he added.
AOTGA has been preparing for the possible addition of services at Suvarnabhumi by boosting its workforce at Don Mueang by 300 employees in recent months, said Thanintrawat. The total staff count is now 3,000.
It is also already operating at Suvarnabhumi in an outsource arrangement with Thai AirAsia, where it provides some 50 staff for the carrier which self-handles at the airport.
The firm has collaborateions with local universities, as well asin addition to Bangkok’s Civil Aviation Training Center, to bring graduates into the business to help ensure a steady recruitment flow, said Thanintrawat.