Industry update

posted on 25th April 2018

SGS: 2018 off to a good start

On 21 February, Saudi Ground Services Company (SGS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Jabal Omar Development for studying the possibility of building a passenger terminal in Makkah.
The terminal would serve Hajj pilgrims and Umrah performers travelling via King Abdulaziz International Airport.
In other news from the company, SGS began providing ground services for FlyEgypt, whose first flight to Jeddah arrived on 1 January. The Cairo-based airline is operating four flights a week to the city.
Ahmed Jannah, SGS general manager marketing and sales, notes that the ISAGO-certified company handles at all 27 international, regional and domestic airports across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It serves national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines as well other privately owned local airlines – and almost all the foreign airlines operating into Saudi Arabia from around the globe.

He adds: “SGS has its own fully equipped training academy where training in all the areas of ground handling activities is made available to thousands of staff every year, participating in different training sessions held at its own and in conjunction with IATA-approved training centres.”


ASA celebrates half a century

This September, Airport Services Antigua (ASA) will celebrate 50 years of ground handling at VC Bird International Airport in Antigua.
Originally founded to serve BOAC (now British Airways – and still an ASA customer), the company handles mainly commercial and cargo carriers, plus some private aircraft. Its newest customer is Canadian leisure carrier Sunwing Airlines.
Other developments include investment in the latest ground handling equipment; its TLD dual platform loader is the only main frame loader in Antigua, for instance.
With a strong emphasis on training and safety, ASA also is the only ground handler in the Leeward Islands to hold ISAGO certification.
The company intends to maintain its high level of safety and service as it continues to develop over the next 50 years.


iPort DCS gains market share

Dutch ground handling software provider, Res2, has confirmed implementation of its iPort DCS departure control system at an additional 50 airports across Europe.
The list of customers using iPort DCS has grown rapidly since DXC Technology announced in September last year that it would wind down its axsControl departure control system by the end of March 2018 in order to focus on other parts of its business. Indeed, Res2 says that more than 80% of former axsControl users are now migrating to iPort DCS.
Those users include Havas Ground Handling (Turkey), Dortmund Airport (Germany), Aviaserve (Malta), Interavia (Ukraine), TAV Macedonia, TAV Tunisia, Sarajevo Airport (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Tirana Airport (Albania) and Vienna Airport (Austria).

MEA unveils new Cedar Lounge

Middle East Airines (MEA) has unveiled its renovated Cedar Lounge at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, describing it as one of the most luxurious and spacious lounges in the industry.
The new design defines seating in zones according to the needs of each type of visitor (individual zone, family zone, smoking zone, etc) and is now able to accommodate almost double the number of guests, MEA says.
The lounge is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technologies: a sensor-equipped dimmable lighting system, a spa with beauty services and massage therapy, a central sky-lit more casual communal green space linking all the zones together and a selection of the finest designer furniture.
Seats are equipped with USB charging ports and power outlets. All the zones include large screens incorporating the latest resolution and smart technology; other screens indicating departure times are visible to every area.

A gallery showcasing Phoenician, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine archaeological finds, highlighting the ancient history of Lebanon, greets guests as they walk into the lounge.
Lebanese hospitality is displayed at the two large buffet bars, backed up by a large newly-equipped industrial kitchen. In addition, beverages and coffee are available at four stations, and two open bars are available to serve alcoholic drinks.
“Our overall goal is ensuring our customers have a haven to go to while travelling,” the lounge manager explains. “We want these lounges to feel like a destination.”