The ground handling process varies among airlines and airports as airlines often subcontract ground handling work to 3rd party companies, which can be local contractors or even other airlines.
If you are interested to avail airport ground handling services, then you need to contact a reputed service provider firm in India.
Here’re the basics:
1. Aircraft marshalling guides the plane to the parking position at a gate loading bridge or remote position
2. Connecting the aircraft to preconditioned air and ground power. These types of equipment are not available everywhere, however they reduce usage of jet fuel.
3. Luggage and air cargo handling to unload belly cargo. This process utilizes baggage tractors and belt loaders.
4. Cabin cleaning usually occurs at the gate however when the aircraft parks for the night, more extensive cleaning might happen at a remote parking position.
5. Catering involves unloading food from the previous flight and loading food for a future one
6. Lavatory draining can be self explanatory.
7. Refuelling is managed through tanker trucks or a hydrant fueling system.
8. Deicing involves removing ice from the aircraft to improve safety in inclement weather.
9. Pushing back from the gate occurs with the help of a push-back tractor.
There’re quite a few departments that are responsible for Aircraft Handling. Airport is a mix of Physical and Intelligent challenges.
How much does ramp service or ground handling cost airlines on average?
Handling cost is ten to fifteen percent of the total cost of an airline.
Per turnaround it varies a lot from less than US $1000 for a regional jet at a small airport to more than US $5000 for a wide body aircraft at a major airport.
Are there any unique ground handling services that are not offered by all airports?
There’re only a couple of airports that have what we call "carnet concierge" services for travellers and their carnet goods if they’re being hand-carried.
In virtually all airports except LAX, JFK and ORD, if you’re travelling with a carnet and hand-carried goods you’re on your own to navigate the security, baggage checking, customs, and validation of your ATA Carnet.
What is a typical work day like for the aircraft ground handling crew at an airport?
1. Shared duties:
No matter your assignment for the day, you will likely end up doing some marshalling.
This means welcoming the aircraft & pointing them in the direction of the gate they need to taxi to or basically directing the pilots along the J-line.
Likewise, you might end up marshalling the plane out toward the taxiway. All personnel do a brief cleaning of the aircraft interior for flights which arrive and depart within 1.5 hrs.
Duties include vacuuming, seatbelt folding, trash pickup and tray wipe down. The plane is taken to the maintenance hangar and thoroughly cleaned and restocked for RONs (remain over night).
2. Baggage Runner:
This person will assist with the unload operation and transport bags to the conveyor belt system inside the airport building. It is also responsible for transporting oversize bags or freight.
It is basically overseeing the restocking of various foodstuffs and beverages on the aircraft.
4. Bag well:
Checked bags from the ticket counter are sent here through conveyor belt for counting and x-ray scanning before loading onto plane.
It is basically loading or unloading bags and freight onto the aircraft. Also you can communicate with pilots via radio and operates pushback tractor.
6. Jet way:
It is basically for aligning Jetway to aircraft for passenger board or deboard.
It is basically dumping aircraft waste reservoirs.
It is not an official assignment; more of a floater. It gives support wherever needed. When we’re not taking care of a flight, we’re typically hanging out in the break room playing cards.
What are the advantages to an airline of joining an alliance?
Airline alliances exist mainly because of practical limitations on airline mergers especially across borders.
Alliances allow airlines to get the benefits of larger networks like operational economies of scale and network benefits of a larger route network.
1. Increased traffic / revenue per seat mile
2. Improved frequent flyer program
3. Cost savings
4. Brand (particularly important for smaller emerging market airlines)
· Higher perceived safety
· Higher perceived service
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