Airports and the airline industry are responsible for a country’s economic prosperity. A passenger’s travel whether it is domestic or international determines the future of several businesses, especially airside services. Moreover, international travel offers new opportunities for airside services and creates jobs for everyone. These services are essential for on-time flight arrival and departure, fuel & oil handling, ramp handling, baggage handling, and aircraft maintenance along with other services.
As per Allied Market Research, the global airside services market is estimated to witness remarkable growth from 2021 to 2028. The rise in passenger traffic and cargo volume and the increase in the competitive rivalry between low-cost air service providers are the major reasons for the growth of the market. Moreover, the increase in the launch of novel airside services to enhance passenger experience has opened new opportunities in the market.
The airline industry is one of the worst-hit industries during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ban on international travel and restriction on domestic flights has severely affected the bottom line of airlines. Thus, several market players in the airside services market launched novel platforms to gain customer attention and rebuild relationships.
Recently, Tampa International launched an advanced airside service that provides touchless food delivery from more than 20 restaurants to any terminal in the airport. The service is powered by well-known food delivery apps AtYourGate and Grab and launched at TPAtoGo.com.
The experience of Covid-19 has increased the importance of contactless technology. From confirming tickets to ordering food, customers are more inclined to use contactless methods. Thus, the airside services that incorporate contactless technology are expected to witness huge demand in the coming years.
Similarly, airside services companies have launched new platforms solely for the advantage of pilots. In 2020, CAE unveiled Airside, a digital platform as well as an online community for pilots. Airside provides training tolls and career opportunities for pilots during the pandemic and their professional careers.
The tool is developed by surveying more than 3,000 pilots and more than 10,000 visits showed interest in Airside since its launch. This platform for pilots includes resume builders, career solutions, and podcasts that help them sharpen their skills to boost their careers. Airside has become a community where professional pilots offer their resources and guide each other to a bright future.
The Covid-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges. For months airplanes were grounded and air traffic dropped significantly. However, post-pandemic the demand for air travel is expected to rise as international tourism is bound to rise. This projection is a lucrative opportunity for market players in the airside services market. Companies need to launch novel airside services and hire more airside operation teams to meet the customer demand and handle the mounting pressure.
The sudden growth in passenger traffic could result in congestion and limitation of airside services. Thus, airline companies and market players in the airside services industry need to look for new ways to boost capacity and carefully use existing resources.
The dearth of skilled workers to use advanced technologies is another challenge for the market. While several companies have launched user-friendly airside services, the seamless integration of novel technologies in the existing infrastructure is key to improve the passenger experience.
The infrastructure of airports is essential in building relationships with customers. Thus, Riyadh Airports has announced to join forces with Egis and local subsidiary projects that specialize in project management in the Middle East to provide consultancy services for airside projects at Kind Khalid International Airport.
The expertise of Egis is expected to help in reviewing airside projects, supervise new airside infrastructure, and construction management. Moreover, the company is responsible for reviewing and approving technical deliverables associated with the baggage handling system, infrastructure, and airfield ground lighting among many other aspects. This suggests that Riyadh Airports would show rapid changes in its infrastructure as it redevelops.
The infrastructure of airports would be a prime concern in the future and companies will invest carefully in airside services. As the air traffic is expected to rise in the coming months, airports must be ready for their passengers and remain efficient in accommodating multiple flights.
For years, the ground handling sector was labor-intensive. However, in the future, advanced technologies would replace some of the jobs in airside services. Thanks to developments in automation and robotics, the time is not afar when airside services will not depend on human involvement. In fact, several companies have already invested in developing fully automated airside operations. Thus, it is safe to say that the future of airside services lies with automation.