Wind Jet has been linking Sicily with Italian and European cities since 2003. Today the airline operates 12 Airbus aircraft (seven A320s and four A319s) and has gone from flying 150,000 passengers in 2003 to 3 million in 2010. A new brand was launched in 2009, the Wind Jet Platinum Line, which offers executive services using two Piaggio P180 aircraft. Wind Jet’s staff comprises 500 people, of whom about 85% is employed in operational roles. Airline Ground Services (AGS) asks Captain Oswaldo Pozzobon (OP), Head of Ground Operations, about the airline’ s operations on the ground
AGS Does Wind Jet outsource all its passenger, baggage and ramp handling operations or do you have some in-house teams at your Sicilian base?
OP Wind Jet outsources all the services.
AGS To what extent does price influence your choice of ground handler? Or is price just one element alongside safety, financial stability, reputation, quality, etc?
OP Price is one of the elements.
AGS How do you monitor your third-party providers? Do you perform audits? Do you look for IOSA accreditation? Do you put supervisory teams in place? Do you incentivise and penalise?
OP We monitor by audits, supervision on the spot and we receive continuous feedback from the pilots and cabin crew. IOSA accreditation is a good tool but just an indication. No, we do not incentivise and penalise.
AGS Do you carry any belly freight in your A320 family fleet? If so, who handles this for you?
OP We carry belly fright only on domestic flights (not all of them). It is handled by the shipper itself.
AGS Have you invested in IT and IT training to manage your outsourced ground services, such as baggage tracing, etc?
OP We use Worldtracer (from SITA) and their DCS.
AGS What about web, SMS and kiosk check-in? Is Wind Jet moving in that direction?
OP Yes, we are doing web check-in and are interested in kiosks for the future.
AGS Do you manage routes on which there are more business travellers differently from those routes with more leisure passengers? Do leisure passengers take up more manpower?
OP We manage our flights in the same way.
AGS Is your portfolio of third-party ground handlers fairly fixed and long-term or do you prefer to keep it flexible and short-term?
OP We keep it flexible ranging from two to four years.