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2023

Airport Ground Handling Market

Airport Ground Handling Market Size, Share, Competitive Landscape and Trend Analysis Report by Service, by Airport, by Provider : Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2023-2032

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Author's: Sneha Jaywant kamble | Lalit Janardhan Katare
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The global airport ground handling market size was valued at $31.8 billion in 2022, and is projected to reach $76.1 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 9.2% from 2023 to 2032.

Airport ground handling services refer to the support services provided on the ground to airlines and their passengers, as well as to the aircraft and cargo. It includes a range of services provided to facilitate an aircraft flight or aircraft ground repositioning which encompasses both customer service and ramp service functions. The ground handling services are aircraft handling, marshaling, servicing, cleaning, catering, fuel supply and provision, maintenance, passenger handling, cargo handling, ramp handling, and others

Airport Ground Handling Market

Factors such as an increase in air traffic, surge in airport construction, modernization, expansion projects, and rise of e-commerce boost the growth of the airport ground handling market. However, high capital cost, and stringent regulations and guidelines are anticipated to hinder the market growth. On the other hand, technological advancements and growing environmental sustainability measures provide a remarkable growth opportunity for the market players operating in the market.

The airport ground handling market is segmented on the basis of service, airport, provider, and region. By service, it is categorized into passenger handling, ramp handling, cargo handling, and others. By airport, it is classified into domestic, and international. By provider, it is divided into independent, and airlines and airports. By region, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

Asia-Pacific includes countries such as China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the rest of Asia-Pacific. The Asia-Pacific region has witnessed a significant increase in air travel due to an increase in the number of airlines and passengers. This growth has increased the demand for airport ground handling in the region. The Asia-Pacific region is investing heavily in developing airport infrastructure, including new airports and the expansion of existing airports. This has increased the demand for ground handling services to support the growth of air travel. The combination of the growing aviation industry, infrastructure development, and outsourcing trends increased the demand for airport ground handling services in the Asia-Pacific region, which is expected to accelerate the growth of the aircraft ground handling system market. 

Airport Ground Handling Market by Service

Several cities across China are increasingly starting a new round of airport construction projects. For instance, in March 2023, the construction of several airports resumed in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, with seven airport projects expected to start in 2023. According to a CNR report, the number of airports in the Xinjiang region will reach 27 by the end of 2023 with the completion of Chitai Airport and Bayan Brak Airport. Moreover, the airport ground services providers receive contracts to support the airline’s ground handling services such as cargo and passenger handling. For instance, in February 2023, China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited has extended its cargo relationship with ground handling specialist Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) with a new contract to handle the B777 freighter flights to Liége, Belgium. Such developments are expected to accelerate the growth of the airport ground and cargo handling services market.

Leading airport ground handling manufacturers are taking various steps such as innovation, expansion, merger, and acquisition to increase the airport ground handling market share. For instance, in September 2022, Swissport announced to expand operations at Milan City Airport in Linate in Italy. Japan is involved in developing advanced technologies and systems that can improve the efficiency of ground handling services. Moreover, the surge in the design, testing, and development of advanced technologies to improve the efficiency and safety of airport ground handling operations. For instance, in April 2023, Low-cost Japanese airline, Peach Aviation partnered with Kansai Airports, Panasonic, and Nagase & Co. to conduct trials of remote-controlled ground support equipment using AI-based object detection information.

Airport Ground Handling Market by Airport

There is a rise in the number of market players in India which leads to increased competition in the market. For instance, in April 2023, Tata announced that it is evaluating plans to set up an Air India ground-handling services company. Moreover, the airport ground handling services receive contracts to provide complete ground handling support to airlines. For instance, in December 2022, Celebi India secured a ground-handling contract to offer quality ground handling services at Chennai International Airport.

The leading airport ground handling manufacturers are announcing acquisition and agreements which is expected to accelerate the growth of the market. SATS Ltd. announced to reach an agreement to acquire Worldwide Flight Services, an air cargo handling company. from an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management (“Cerberus”). The transaction is valued at an enterprise value of $2.15 billion.

Some leading companies profiled in the airport ground handling market report comprise Fraport AG, Qatar Airways, SATS Ltd, Aviapartner, Swissport International AG, The Emirates Group, Flughafen München GmbH, Menzies Aviation Limited, Celebi Aviation, and AOT Ground Aviation Services Co., Ltd.

The leading companies are adopting strategies such as contratcs to strengthen their market position. For instance, in February 2023, Menzies Aviation secured a contract from Aeroports de Montreal, an international airport in Canada. Under this contract, Menzies Aviation is expected to provide its full allocation of services until the contract ends in December 2030. These services are set to include ramp, passenger, and cabin cleaning services.

Airport Ground Handling Market by Provider

Increase in air traffic

As the economy grows, there is a rise in disposable income on air travel for business and leisure. This has increased the demand for air travel and contributed to the increase in air travel. Moreover, the increasing interconnectivity of the global economy has led to an increase in international travel, which in turn contributes to the growth of air travel. For instance, in April 2023, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the demand for air travel continues to grow strongly, based on traffic results from February 2023 onwards.

The total air traffic in February 2023 increased by 55.5% as compared to February 2022. Moreover, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), by 2035, passenger traffic and freight volume is expected to increase two times. In addition, due to increased economic activity, ease of travel, growth of the travel and tourism sector, rapid urbanization, and consumers' preference for low-cost service along with non-stops and frequent service, low-cost airlines have witnessed exponential growth across the globe.

Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) stimulate new demand for air travel and by offering lower fares, attracting passengers with cheaper fares. This has led to growth in the airline industry and an increase in air traffic which is expected to drive the demand for airport ground handling services. As air travel continues to grow, there is a corresponding increase in demand for ground handling services at airports, which is expected to drive the growth of the market.

Surge in airport construction, modernization, and expansion projects

To accommodate growing passenger loads and to increase efficiency, airports are constructing and extending new infrastructure. For instance, in April 2022, The China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) announced to commence the construction of Nasiriyah International Airport, located in Nasiriyah City in the Southern Dhi Qar Governorate. Moreover, airports are investing in modernization projects to provide a seamless travel experience. For instance, in January 2023, Bangkok announced an investment of $8.82 billion to modernize U-Tapao airport (UTP) under the Eastern Airport City master plan.

The goal is to enable U-Tapao to handle 60-75 million passengers per year. Moreover, in February 2023, Sacramento International Airport in northern California, U.S. announced a series of expansion and upgrade projects worth a total of $1.3 billion in 2024. Airports require more ground handling services as they develop and modernize their infrastructure to accommodate rising passenger loads and operational demands. Therefore, this provides opportunities for the players in the market, which is expected to propel the growth of the market.

High capital cost

Airport ground handling requires significant capital investment to acquire the necessary equipment and infrastructure such as aircraft towing tractors, baggage handling systems, and ground support equipment. The high capital cost of airport ground handling includes a large investment required to obtain the equipment, infrastructure, and staff required to provide airport ground handling services. This includes the cost of purchasing and maintaining ground support equipment such as aircraft towing tractors, baggage handling systems, and cargo loaders. It also comprises the cost of constructing and maintaining facilities such as cargo terminals, passenger lounges, and baggage handling areas. In addition, the cost also increases to invest in training and hiring personnel to operate and maintain the equipment and facilities. Therefore, the overall high capital cost of ground handling is expected to hinder the growth of the market.

Airport Ground Handling Market by Region

Stringent regulations and guidelines

The airport ground handling sector is subject to stringent regulations to protect the safety and security of travelers, cargo, and aircraft operations. The expansion of the airport ground handling industry is constrained by strict regulations as adhering to safety and security requirements can be expensive and time-consuming. These rules may be issued by a variety of organizations, including governmental bodies, airport management, and airlines. Regulations governing equipment maintenance, employee training and certification, safety protocols, and security measures must be complied with by ground handling firms. Ground handling companies are required to invest in specialized machinery and facilities and hire and train qualified personnel to comply with these rules. Therefore, stringent regulations are expected to hamper the growth of the market. 

Key Benefits For Stakeholders

  • This report provides a quantitative analysis of the market segments, current trends, estimations, and dynamics of the airport ground handling market analysis from 2022 to 2032 to identify the prevailing airport ground handling market opportunities.
  • The market research is offered along with information related to key drivers, restraints, and opportunities.
  • Porter's five forces analysis highlights the potency of buyers and suppliers to enable stakeholders make profit-oriented business decisions and strengthen their supplier-buyer network.
  • In-depth analysis of the airport ground handling market segmentation assists to determine the prevailing market opportunities.
  • Major countries in each region are mapped according to their revenue contribution to the global market.
  • Market player positioning facilitates benchmarking and provides a clear understanding of the present position of the market players.
  • The report includes the analysis of the regional as well as global airport ground handling market trends, key players, market segments, application areas, and market growth strategies.

Airport Ground Handling Market Report Highlights

Aspects Details
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Market Size By 2032

USD 76.1 billion

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Growth Rate

CAGR of 9.2%

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Forecast period

2022 - 2032

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Report Pages

378

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By Service
  • Passenger Handling
  • Ramp Handling
  • Cargo Handling
  • Others
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By Airport
  • Domestic
  • International
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By Provider
  • Independent
  • Airlines and airports
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By Region
  • North America  (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
  • Europe  (Germany, France, UK, Russia, Rest of Europe)
  • Asia-Pacific  (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Rest of Asia-Pacific)
  • LAMEA  (Latin America, Middle East, Africa)
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Key Market Players

Aviapartner, Menzies Aviation Limited, Qatar Airways, The Emirates Group, SATS Ltd., AOT Ground Aviation Services Co., Ltd., Fraport AG, Çelebi Aviation, Flughafen München GmbH, Swissport International AG

Analyst Review

The global airport ground handling market is expected to witness growth owing to the globalization of air travel, and an increase in air traffic. Moreover, there has been an increase in collaborations, acquisitions, and mergers among various airport ground handling providers. For instance, in April 2023, SATS Ltd acquired Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a provider of air freight logistics services worldwide for about $1.3 billion. Craig Smyth, WFS CEO, stated in a press release that companies can build relationships and enter new markets by combining operations and strengths with the help of mergers and acquisitions.

Furthermore, technological advancements transform the airport ground handling industry, by improving efficiency, safety, and the overall passenger experience. There is a rise in the design of automated ground handling systems to improve efficiency. For instance, in December 2022, Sarcos Robotics and Changi Airport Group revealed the demonstration of a jointly developed outdoor-based autonomous baggage loading system prototype. The prototype is designed to automate the loading and unloading of loose passenger bags from small aircraft.

Moreover, artificial intelligence is increasingly being utilized in airport operations to optimize ground handling operations, cut down on delays, and enhance the passenger experience. For instance, in March 2023, Royal Schiphol Group, operator of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol company collaborated with security technology provider Pangiam to design technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms for baggage screening. The technology is developed for image analysis of hand baggage and the detection of banned items and other security threats.

In addition, in April 2023, MSG Aviation, a private aviation company announced the construction of the largest robot in the world driven by artificial intelligence at Oslo Airport (OSL) in Norway. The designed robot is expected to be used for carrying out de-icing and service procedures of ground handling. Therefore, such technological advancements to enhance airport operations are expected to provide significant opportunities for the growth of the market

Author Name(s) : Sneha Jaywant kamble | Lalit Janardhan Katare
Frequently Asked Questions?

The estimated industry size of airport ground handling is $31.8 billion in 2022.

The top companies to hold the market share in airport ground handling are Fraport AG, Qatar Airways, SATS Ltd, Aviapartner, Swissport International AG, The Emirates Group, Flughafen München GmbH, Menzies Aviation Limited, Celebi Aviation, and AOT Ground Aviation Services Co., Ltd.

Asia-Pacific is the largest regional market for airport ground handling

Technological advancements and growing environmental sustainability are the upcoming trends of airport ground handling market in the world.

The leading provider type of airport ground handling market is independent provider.

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Airport Ground Handling Market

Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2023-2032