Danube Wings, the Slovak air carrier, transported 86,894 passengers in 2010 (77,800 in 2009). Its fleet includes three ATR72-202 planes. The company operates many charter flights and is an official airline of the Slovak ice-hockey national team. It also operates regular flights to/from Bratislava, Kosice, Zadar, Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik. Airline Ground Services (AGS) talks to Captain Peter Galovic, Chief Executive Officer, Danube Wings, about the airline’s arrangements for ground handling which include services provided by Skyport ground handling services in Slovakia (both BTS and KSC) and Marconi Handling at Bologna
AGS Are you primarily a charter airline, scheduled airline, regional airline or a combination of all three? What is your link with the VIP operation?
PG Danube Wings is an airline oriented to European market, operating scheduled flights, seasonal scheduled flights as well as charter flights. Our sister company, VR Jet, operates business and VIP flights with its versatile business jet fleet.
AGS What type of passenger does Danube Wings largely serve? Are you catering mostly to leisure passengers or are there also a fair number of business passengers? What does this mean for the way in which you check passengers in? Is check-in all manual? Are you moving towards internet, SMS, kiosk check-in or is that not necessary?
PG Danube Wings passengers are both business and leisure. Scheduled flights serve mostly its business clientele, while seasonal scheduled flights and some charter flights serve the leisure clients. Check-in of our passengers is operated in accordance to the European airports’ standards and it is oriented toward fast passenger processing.
AGS What will the new terminal at Bratislava Airport mean for Danube Wings and the way in which it handles its passengers and baggage?
PG The new BTS terminal provides increased comfort and better quality services to our passengers.
AGS Presumably your leisure passengers carry plenty of baggage. Do you have a policy on baggage and do you have any special systems to track and trace it?
PG Our leisure passengers’ luggage is routinely handled and processed according to high European standards.
AGS Do you have your own passenger and baggage check-in staff at Bratislava? What about at destination airports? To what extent do you outsource passenger and baggage handling and how do you go about selecting third-party check-in agents?
PG Check-in and baggage handling for Danube Wings flights is outsourced to our partners and we select our partners with the aim of securing smooth and reliable baggage services for our passengers.
AGS Who looks after your three ATR aircraft on the ramp in terms of tugging aircraft, de-icing them, refuelling them and cleaning them? Do you outsource this work or does some of it remain in-house?
PG Our aircraft are serviced both by our staff and by our partners.
AGS If you carry cargo, what are your arrangements for cargo handling?
PG Standard European procedures and regulations are applied.
AGS Have you found that ground handling services at the destinations you serve are strong and meet your needs? Or, have you had to put in place your own teams to train third parties, raise standards and introduce incentives?
PG We find ground handling services at the destinations served by our flights satisfactory and, depending on specific conditions, our staff or our partners’ staff provide all necessary services.