Merger results in Saudi Ground Services Company

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Being part of the global aviation industry and driven by the forces of integration and consolidation that are being witnessed across the globe among various kinds of business entities, the merger process between the two privately owned ground handling companies and the handling division of Saudi Arabian Airlines has eventually completed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the new ground handling company named “Saudi Ground Services Company” (SGS) was established and has been functional with effect from April 16, 2011, writes the handler

The official announcement of the completion of the merger process and the formation of Saudi Ground Services (SGS) was officially announced and Mr Abdulrahman Al Hilali was appointed by the Board of Directors as the CEO of SGS.

The process in fact had commenced a couple of years ago to form a new ground handling company in Saudi Arabia by merging National Handling Services, Attar Ground Handling and Saudi Arabian Airlines Ground Services. The primary objective and the most important factor of the merger plan was to bring together the joint efforts of the three existing entities and consolidate their resources to provide the best available services to client airlines and introduce the most advanced technology to the ground handling industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, thus leading to secure optimal benefits for the service provided and the clients airlines alike.

During the period of past two years, there had been extensive and lengthy discussions between the three organisations focusing attention on various areas of all the three organisations including operational, financial and administrative matters in addition to going through quite a lengthy legal process. It was categorically ensured that the interest of all the three merging entities was fully protected and secured.

SGS will provide ground handling services at all 27 airports to the national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines and all the foreign airlines that operate into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from around the world.

While talking about the handling services, it is essential to note that it is not only scheduled operations under discussion but also the tremendously huge Haj operation where thousands of flights are operated to the two main hubs at Jeddah and Madinah airports, carrying millions of Haj pilgrims that arrive from around the world annually to perform Haj rituals. Haj operation is comprised of two phases where during phase one, that lasts for around one month, the pilgrims start arriving into Jeddah and Madinah airports on board thousands of flights operated mainly by wide-bodied aircraft while the second phase, that also lasts for around one month, carries those pilgrims back to the places of their origin after the completion of the Haj season.

The top management of SGS headed by Mr Abdulrahman Al Hilali is comprised of highly qualified officials with several years of experience in senior management positions in various areas of the aviation industry and carries the following mission: to provide consistently quality ground handling services that meet international standards and are responsive to the needs of its customers; and to become the market leader and dominant force in ground handling in the Middle East and North Africa.

Being a new entity, but in fact having a long history of providing ground handling services in Saudi Arabia with recognition of the airlines and the certified bodies of ISAGO, IOSA and ISO, SGS has set up its own standard of customer services, with specific emphasis on passenger handling, ramp handling aiming to maintain the high level of standard and services provided and improve the work flow in order to bring both SGS and its clients to a leading position. These standards will be modified where necessary to meet individual airline’s own requirements which will enable SGS management to make available a team of dedicated staff for client airlines.

Safety of the aircraft and the personnel, be it a passenger or employee, is the prime concern of the management of SGS and, keeping this in mind, the management is endeavoured to make massive investment in the procurement of ground support equipment which conforms with the latest IATA and airlines’ specifications, and be in line with the latest advance in technology, thus resulting in making the entire fleet of GSE at the highest state of availability. Similarly, the team of GSE operators is comprised of highly skilled personnel with firm determination to adhere to safety procedures while delivering highly commendable services of international standards. The management of SGS is fully confident that a strong combination of skill, ability and the high degree of hands-on experience of SGS staff will put SGS in a position second-to-none in the industry.

The management of SGS fully recognises the role of training and understands the importance of continuous professional development and, accordingly, is in the process of developing ambitious plans to set up a highly professional training facility that will help management keep staff fully aware of the latest developments in the industry but also prepare them for the new challenges that come with new technology and procedures.

It is concluded with a firm note that SGS is fully equipped and capable of making itself a reliable services partner in ground handling activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, providing effective support to its client airlines for a smooth and efficient operation and offering the best services in order to ensure that on-time performance is established and maintained while adhering to the highest level of safety standards.