Last year was a challenging year for the aviation industry and the tough conditions were felt by airline and ground handlers alike, and in 2019, the environment is not set to be any less turbulent, due to the global economic and political uncertainty that exists, and trade and protectionism wars.
This year has already sadly seen European airlines Germania and flybmi cease operations due to financial troubles, and the impact of their closure has been felt right across the industry.
However, on a positive note, air transport is buoyant as global passenger traffic continues to rise strongly and the industry expands, meaning demand for airlines and ground handling services will remain.
In this issue, we focus on route network development in the globe’s fastest expanding region Asia-Pacific (page 4) and get the thoughts from key players, including Singapore Changi Airport, and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Much of the passenger growth is down to the growth in the low-cost carrier (LCC) sector and we find out about Air Astana’s new low-cost arm FlyArystan (page 11) which will launch in the second quarter of this year. We also speak to one of the globe’s biggest and most established airlines – Emirates (page 14) – to hear their thoughts.
This issue also covers a range of ground handlers around the globe to hear their views on how business is including dnata (page 21), where we hear how the Dubai-based company is conquering North America.
Also featured are Stobart Aviation Services (page 18), which has expanded its handling operations into Scotland, and we speak to Nordic and UK handler Aviator (page 26) about how it has grown its market presence.
Other features in this issue look at the continued growth and development of the airport lounge sector (page 33) including an interview with the globe’s biggest independent operator Plaza Premium Lounge and a feature looking at how the air transport industry is deploying the latest technology to strengthen physical and cyber security defences (page 42).
New to this and future issues are a look at industry appointments in Movers & Shakers (page 47) while the new Istanbul Airport is the first to be featured in Airport Focus (page 48).
Finally, to get a more detailed and comprehensive overview and insight into the airline and ground handling sectors, we have increased ARGS from two issues a year to four. Please get in touch if you want to feature in future issues.
I look forward to speaking to you in the future and thanks for your continued support. I hope you enjoy the issue.