Singapore's Changi Airport Group (CAG) has awarded a third ground handling licence to US-based Aircraft Service International Group (ASIG). ASIG beat three other firms to win the tender. With the ten-year licence, ASIG will be able to provide passenger and cargo handling services to some 100 airlines operating at Changi Airport.
These services are currently provided by two agents - SATS and Changi International Airport Services (CIAS). Changi Airport Group says a third ground handler will provide airlines with potential benefits in price and range of offerings.
The previous third ground handler at Changi Airport was Swissport, which pulled out in 2009 after four years of operations. Although Swissport reportedly caused ground handling rates at Changi Airport to fall by 15 per cent, the Swiss company chalked up losses of S$50 million.
Siva Govindasamy, Flightglobal's Asia managing editor, said: "Some would argue that there really isn't a market for a third ground handler in Singapore, ASIG and Changi tend to disagree. Airlines would welcome competition. But it still remains to be seen whether this will drive down costs substantially."
Analysts say it is unlikely that ASIG will make a dent in the market share of the two existing ground handlers. This is because many of the carriers are tied to long term contracts, either with SATS or CIAS. Read More