Traditionally, the core task of cargo sales agents has been and still is to fill the belly capacity or main decks of their mandate airlines' aircraft. Some of them, however, have begun broadening and optimizing their business model by stepping into pioneering fields with no direct connections to air freight, and offering their clients a wide range of complementary services, thus adding value and deepening ties. Airline Manager System GSA GmbH, the FlyUs Aviation Group, and agent Kales Airline Services are examples of GSSAs that have done this.
The GSSA business is facing massive changes, Nouri Neller states. He has been in the industry for more than two decades, having gained hands-on experience both in Europe and North America. The
Managing Director Germany of agent AMS acts according to the motto that it is better to be at the forefront of this new trend right from the start, than to come too late when the competition in
front is already disappearing from view.
Total Cargo Management is taking off
One of the pioneering companies breaking new grounds along with AMS and Kales, is Dutch agent FlyUs. It has long left the starting line and is a step or even two ahead of the mass of service providers. FlyUs offers the market Total Cargo Management (TCM) solutions, acting as an airline’s cargo unit by arranging interline pacts, offering commercial support, looking after security issues wherever and whenever needed, or taking care of ground handling, e-commerce, and trucking solutions. It is a comprehensive service package which penetrates other sectors and integrates them, and it is exactly this path that cargo manager Nouri Neller wants to take in the future.
There is so much more than simply filling an aircraft
“A carrier is responsible for operational issues around the aircraft, we care about the rest,” he says. And the “rest” has a huge scope. It includes traffic rights for charters and scheduled flights, slot coordination, catering, fueling, crew transportation and hotel accommodation, but also preparing load plans, weight and balance, and other ramp agent duties. “Furthermore, we can provide another level of BI to our Airline Partners in terms of Routings and Business Development” he adds, explaining that the TCM GSSA will even prepare the business case for its customer and go so far as to either “take or share the risks of new routings” with them. “The entire administrative issues which are very time consuming, need to be handled by professionals and well-trained people. With our present customers we could already prove reduced ground times as well as increasing load factors due to proper preparation.”
Ensuring highly qualified staff
Once the list of activities is extended and has become daily practice, the scope of services rendered to mandate airlines by his agency will double or even triple compared to traditional GSSA activities, Mr. Neller estimates. He also emphasizes another important aspect which complements the service package and should not be neglected: the higher qualification of the sales agent’s staff: “This we consider as being paramount for our personnel to increase their knowledge and become more versatile. We are dealing not only with highest values in terms of aircraft and their loads, but even more when it comes to the crews and passengers. Therefore, together with our partner Interport Consult GmbH, we are developing a training program tailor-made to the needs of our fast-developing industry. We will not reinvent the wheel, but we will make it faster and safer. Up to now, most trainings have been based on theory. Our new training program will include a large practical part. We truly believe that this will make a big difference. To underline the importance, we are working with our partner on a certification with the Chamber of Commerce (IHK) and the corresponding IHK degree. This means that our trainees or retraining students will be able to work in many areas of our industry, with fundamental knowledge and an officially recognized qualification.”
GSSA Airline Manager System intends to launch this training program along with most of the other novelties mentioned above next April.
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