Skyline Air Services runs offices at 11 European airports, after the agent had added Warsaw and London to its pan-European network last year. Compared to the big players cruising through the GSA cosmos, there are clear differences in business models.
Big is beautiful! Hassaan Aglan only supports this claim, related to General Sales and Service Agents in the air freight business, to a very limited extent. He is the founder and chief executive of GSA Skyline Air Services based in Dusseldorf. The agent’s network consists of 11 stations, with a focus on freight carriers serving Germany and the Benelux countries. In line with other GSAs, Skyline offers a wide range of services to its own customers, especially cargo airlines such as MNG from Istanbul, Egyptair Cargo from Cairo or Toronto-based Canadian carrier Cargojet.
Boutique Outsourcing Aviation Solution
In addition to the classic task of a GSA to procure as many freight shipments as possible through sales efforts, Skyline has developed a boutique concept where the customer can “shop” additional modules according to his needs.
In addition to marketing, reservation and customer service as base modules, the services rendered by Skyline include yield and capacity management, physical monitoring of operational processes, flight capacity control and detailed load planning as well as in-depth consulting on almost every aviation aspect. This also includes negotiations with regulating bodies or government agencies, for example when traffic rights or safety aspects are concerned.
The range of services offered to customers also includes interline agreements with other carriers to tap into lucrative markets which do not have a direct flight connection, speeding up these processes and adding benefit to all stakeholders involved. “We speak Airline”, Mr. Aglan says reiterating Skyline’s slogan, “and try to think and act like the airline which we represent.”
Rounding off the spectrum are collaborations with local GSAs, which also puts Skyline in a good position intercontinentally, Mr. Aglan says. Further to this, he points out that Skyline Air Services organizes charter flights and is very active when it comes to trucking goods from the producer’s door to the airport and vice versa in case of imports." It is a holistic concept which Skyline has labelled Boutique Outsourcing Aviation Solution.
Focus and dedication
The question, then, is what sets his company apart from the industry's big players, which also offer their client airlines a bulging service portfolio. "You were at the Air Cargo Americas trade show in November. Did you see our booth there?" Hassaan Aglan wants to know.
The answer is no. Skyline had no visible presence at the TIACA event in MIA. "Exactly, he says. We are part of our clients' representative offices or stands at trade shows. After all, expositions should primarily promote the visibility of our clients. It is always about the airline, and not about us. We prefer to stay in the background, or, in aviation terms, fly beneath the radar. That doesn't mean that we don't use such shows to engage in discussions and enhance our network, but definitely not to boost our ego.”
And he cites what he believes is another important distinction. "Our core customers don't compete with each other." They serve very different markets, which requires highly individualized sales strategies. “Yet”, he adds, “I see this as an advantage. We don’t have loyalty issues like other GSAs – our airlines trust us in what we do. And what we do, we do it with focus and dedication.”
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