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ASA Quarterly-1

Published on: 05 February 2024

The Voice of Service Providers Worldwide

#1 ASA Quarterly

Welcome to the new release of the ASA Quarterly Newsletter.


I hope that you all had a wonderful season holiday. I would like to extend my special thanks to everyone who attended the ASA General Assembly on December 21, 2023. We actually had a record number of participants, and I trust this is a sign of our members being more and more involved in the daily business of their association.

The team and I are quite excited about the release of this first edition of the ASA quarterly newsletter, which will complement neatly the monthly summary of ASA’s achievements we have kicked off three months ago. I hope you will enjoy the reading.


  • The Chairman, Atilla Korkmazo─člu, acknowledged the successes of the past year and stressed the importance of inclusivity.
  • Financially, the association is now robust, , with revenues of just over 600K EUR, which is double our estimated expenses of around 300K EUR
  • The Secretariat expanded to 4 people from 2 in 2022. It organized a 2nd ASA Leadership Forum that saw a 44% revenue increase, orchestrated a 40% growth in membership and enhanced the sector visibility by establishing long-lasting working relationship with EASA, CAAC (China), FAA and by getting the official recognition as international organisation from ICAO.
  • In 2024, ASA's key focus is on imposing a review of the industry agreement (SGHA). Additionally, the association plans to launch a Task Force to define an acceptable minimum operating standard, release a joint paper with ACI on establishing decent work at airports, work on increasing the prominence of ASA events, rejuvenate its committees with new Terms of Reference, and initiate a major study on the macro-economics of ground-handling in the aviation value chain.

New Supervisory Board Member

Mohamed Hanno
Executive Chairman & CEO, ASE Group



  • Atilla Korkmazoglu,
    ASA Chairman,
    President GH & Cargo, Çelebi
  • Steve Allen, Group CEO, dnata
  • Hassan Al Houry,
    Chairman, Menzies Aviation
  • Warwick Brady, CEO, Swissport

New Operating Board Member

Ryan Abram
COO Global Airport Operations, dnata



  • John Geddes, ASA Principal, Corporate Affairs Director,
    Menzies Aviation
  • David Anderson, Global Head of QHSE, Swissport
  • Michael Hancock, Group CEO Southcorp/SG, CAHA
  • Victor Carballo, MD,
    Airport Services, Acciona
  • Richard Prince, CEO, Aviapartner
  • Marc Deleu, MD, DAS Handling,
  • Mete Erna, GM, Hava┼č
  • A call to fill in the vacant seat at the Operating Board left after the transfer of Mohamed Hanno from the Operating to the Supervisory Board was made in early January. The appointment of the candidate will be made in February by the Members.

WELCOME TO OUR NEW COLLEAGUE As the new year begins, ASA is dedicated to bolstering the resilience of the industry and elevating its standing within the aviation sector, all of which is made possible with the members’ support. The Secretariat seizes the opportunity to welcome Elena Riesler, who joins the ASA Secretariat on 31 January as the new Events and Data Coordinator.


  • EASA (the European Aviation Safety Agency) released its Opinion to the European Commission on Tue 16 Jan. 24. The Commission has one year to translate the Opinion into a Regulation, with a three-year grace period before it is fully applied (around January 2028).
  • ICAO recognizes ASA as an international organization in Dec.23, giving ASA’s request a positive outcome after 18 months.
  • A joint request from IATA, ACI and ASA to EASA to grant alternative means of compliance (AMC) to IGOM and AHM was sent to the Agency based in Cologne/Germany in November 2023.
  • A letter on the sorry state of ground-handling in the U.S. and a request to organize a meeting between the Supervisory Board and the newly appointed FAA administrator, Michael Whitaker, was written in December 2023.
  • A presentation on the functioning of the European market, the way competition at European works based on Directive 96/67/EC, the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the Directive, was made by ASA to the Chinese CAAC in October 2023 in view of the forthcoming liberalization of the Chinese GH market.

OPS & WORKING GROUPS – Ariaen Zimmerman


  • Comprehensive Study on Aviation Services Industry: a call for proposals to launch a study that will offer a comprehensive and quantitative assessment of the aviation services industry's current state was presented to the Operating Board in December. It will be circulated to a number of pre-selected consultancies in February. The study will gather, analyse, and present key numerical data as well as qualitative insights for a complete and encompassing understanding of the industry. It will kick off by the end of Q1 for a first draft expected by Q3 2024.
  • Addressing Standards in Airport Services: The aviation sector is an interwoven framework of many different companies that together offer a highly complex product of great value to the world. This works remarkably well with high safety records and high efficiency, with one exception: a lack of standards for consistent airport services, combined with fierce competition and limited regulatory oversight. In the extremely competitive aviation environment there is a strong, almost exclusive focus, on initially contracted costs of airport service providers, which gives rise to a race to the bottom for service standards. In 2024, ASA will address the root causes of this phenomenon and work with other stakeholders to come to an action plan to make that change.
  • Global Task Force on Workforce Development in Aviation: ASA has been invited to join an initiative led by the British Department for Transport (DoT) called GAAST, together with IATA, TIACA and ACI, aimed at attracting and retaining a new workforce for air transport. More details will follow as ASA is looking for active participation of members in the various workstreams of this ambitious project and make sure the needs of the sector are reflected appropriately.


Recent meetings with chairs of the Cargo, Training, and Safety Committees focused on finalizing Terms of Reference and planning ahead were held in December 2023 and January 2024. Members interested in partaking and contributing to these critical areas are encouraged to contact Ariaen Zimmerman (Nota Bene: number of participants is limited).

As a reminder, these Committees are:

  • Training (ATAC): Developing an ASA training accreditation program.
  • Sustainability (ASUC): Implementing a voluntary carbon offset program.
  • Safety (ASAC): Creating a benchmark with the Safety Incident Database (SID).
  • GSEs (AGSEC): Supporting the transition to electric GSE at airports.
  • Cargo (ACAC): Enhancing GHA involvement in ICS-2 implementation.
  • Legal Affairs (ALAC): Ensuring a balanced IATA SGHA.

These committees meet 3-4 times a year and offer a great opportunity for exchanging ideas with experts from other companies, to contribute to ASA, and have the members’ and the organization’s voice heard. You may peek at who is already registered in the Committees here.



Interview with Dr. Michael Zach, Senior Vice President of Vienna Airport’s Ground Handling Services, (which joined ASA in October 2023). The company offers cargo, baggage and ramp handling as well as aircraft de-icing services. Michael Zach has joined Vienna Airport in 2006 and held various management positions before settling in in his current position at Sales, Finance and Cargo of the Handling Services division in 2018.

  • Tell us about your Company and services:
    Vienna Airport began operations in 1954 and has since developed into a major hub in the heart of Europe. Within the Lufthansa Group Vienna Airport lists as the most punctual hub and is also among the most punctual hubs in Europe. The high service quality of Vienna Airport Ground Handling Services contributes significantly to achieving this. The autonomous business unit of Vienna Airport serves high customer orientation, quality and speed and acts as a full-service provider. It offers all relevant handling services from passenger handling, ramp handling (including loading and unloading of aircrafts, baggage handling, catering transport, de-icing, cabin cleaning, sanitary services), cargo handling, load control and centralized load control and pharma handling and consists of a team of 1,900 employees with a high-level of expertise. Around 900 motorized vehicles (electric and diesel) and about 3,000 non-motorized vehicles are in use, although Vienna Airport is steadily increasing the number of electric vehicles in the interests of sustainability. Thanks to extensive investments in its logistics infrastructure, Vienna Airport has emerged as a global cargo gateway for Central and Eastern Europe and is an important cargo hub for nearby Eastern Europe logistics routes. Leading cargo airlines, especially for intercontinental transport are serving Vienna Airport – these include Lufthansa Cargo, Emirates Cargo, Eva Air Cargo, Korean Air Cargo, Asiana, Cargolux, Turkish Cargo, Qatar Airways Cargo and Silk Way West Airlines. Since 2023 Vienna Airport runs its operations in a CO2-neutral manner and will reduce its emissions to net zero by the year 2033.
  • Why did you decide to join ASA?
    Vienna Airport Handling Services wants to be part of the big ground handling family in order to exchange experiences, discuss solutions for new challenges and to be a powerful voice within the industry.
  • Which industry perspectives would you like to share with our readers?
    Sustainability will continue to be a key issue within the industry, especially when it comes to finding the best economical approach to fulfill all upcoming environmental requirements such as the electrifying of GSE, hydrogen GSE and more. Another primary challenge the industry faces is finding sufficient and qualified staff.


As of early 2024, all the members will receive, alongside their yearly membership dues, a brief survey to fill in. This survey will tackle a number of KPIs that will help ASA collect information and get a better understanding of the state of play of the industry. Things such as the number of employees, turnarounds operated, types of GSEs used, etc. constitute an essential information to gather and will be a good industry barometer. It is important to state that ASA will only share and/or display this information in an aggregate and de-identified form.


ASA full membership is exclusively reserved to ground handling providers. Their fees are calculated on the basis of their yearly income – and divided into 4 categories (Cat A, B, C and D) see: ASA Articles of the Association. ASA also reaches out to Industry Partners and offers two categories, dubbed “active” and “passive” 5.000EUR and 1.500EUR respectively. See details on our webpage.

COMMS & EVENTS – Mercedes Dieguez


  • ASA Ground Handling Services Directory. Members will receive a personalized link to participate in the inaugural ASA Ground Handling Services e-Directory by March. This ressource is a first of its kind, which will be available to the entire aviation industry. It will provide comprehensive contact details and services offered at stations where our members operate. We anticipate publication by May.
  • Promotional Opportunities: Explore new avenues for the promotion of your brand with ASA on our webpage.
  • Feature Your Photos: You may submit your best HD pictures by March 1st. The finest ones will be featured in our marketing materials and used via our website, publication and events with your consent.


  • ASA Leadership Forum 2024 Event Overview: Attend ALF 24, the unique conference and exhibition, scheduled for October 29-31, 2024, in Istanbul/Türkiye. Last year's event drew over 60 airlines and a total of 480 attendees, nearly doubling in size from the previous edition.
  • Networking and learning: As the premier event for ground handlers, ALF 24 offers unmatched networking, learning, and industry advancement opportunities.
  • Be part of it: Your participation matters in shaping the industry. Register now for the ASA Leadership Forum and take advantage of ASA members’ special rate.
  • Special invite for airline representatives: Members can invite up to two representatives per airline to join the event for free. You just need to let ASA know who you would like to invite and the Team will take care of it.
  • During the last quarter, ASA received invitations to talk and share its viewpoint on specific topics in at international events: International Aviation Summit, ACI Innovate, Tiaca Excecutive Summit, Turkish Aviation Summit, Global Aviation Skills task force. These were hosted by esteemed aviation organizations, including IATA, ACI, EASA, among others. Our voice matters.

On November 23rd the International Aviation Summit partners reiterated their joint call for the defence and the promotion of the value and benefits brought by aviation to people, families and businesses across continents. ASA joined this initiative that sees the various trade bodies of air transport speak out and explain the immense efforts their communities are committed to do to achieve the target of net zero emissions by 2050.

In the picture from left to right: Fabio Gamba, ASA General Director, Kostas Iatrou, Hermes General Director, Mehmet T. Nane, former Chair of IATA Board and Glyn H., TIACA General Director.


LinkedIn number of followers: 3,668

  • Your favourite post was: the announcement on the EASA’s Opinion on Ground Handling… did you react too?
  • Our 4.000 follower will be treated with a selection of exquisite Belgian Delicacies. Spread the word - encourage your teams to follow, share, and engage with our posts!


Meeting Associations and Institutions:

  • March 12-14 – ASA will attend the IATA GOS meeting on contracts in Madrid
  • April 12-16 – ASA will attend the GAAST (Global Taskforce on the future of Aviation Workforce) in Sao Paulo
  • April 23 – ASA will attend the ICAO EUR/NAT DGCA event in Toulouse

Industry Events:

  • February 12-14: GCAA World Passenger Experience Forum (Dubai)
  • February 24: ACI Africa GA (Cairo)
  • February 28-29: Aviation Festival ASIA (Singapore)
  • March 12-14: IATA World Cargo Symposium (China)
  • April 9-15 April: FIDAE (Chile)
  • April 16-18: PTE Passenger Terminal EXPO (Frankfurt)

Committees' meetings:

  • All committees will meet in March 2024 and announce their 2024 meeting dates in the forthcoming monthly reports.


  • April (date tbc): Presentation of Decent Work at Airports, jointly with ACI-World – link will be shared shortly.

ASA is organizing seminars to address its priority topics: Standard Ground Handling Agreement, Minimum Operating Standards, and talent Attraction and Retention.

Additionally, members are strongly encouraged to attend webinars when the six Committees present their priorities, roadmap and achievements. Stay tuned!

DO YOU KNOW which member has been with ASA continuously for the longest time and for how many years? Stay tuned for the answer in our next Quarterly Newsletter.


  • Lobbying and Political Matters:
  • Operations and Working Groups:
  • Membership and Institutional Matters:
  • Marketing, Communication and Newsletters:
  • Events & Data Coordinator:


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