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Handle with care – Europe’s airport ground handling business to be liberalised further

17th October, 2011

At one time, ground handling was probably the least competitive business segment within the airports sector in Europe. Slowly but surely, it has been liberalised to the point where airports are expected to allow at least two ground handling providers (including their own, if they choose to indulge in that activity, or that of a dominant airline). Now the European Commission (EC) is reported to be on the verge of compelling airports to allow at least three such providers. It is at least one EU initiative that seems to have had some success, but what level of company will really benefit? [1858 words]

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This report contains the following subheadings:

  • No closed shop
  • Smaller handlers seize the day in Scandinavia
  • EC still regards social protection as an important aspect of modification of the Directive
  • Social issues sprout in Brussels
  • Menzies gobbles up airline ground handling operations