The Middle-East and Africa airport ground handling systems market is expected to register a CAGR of over 7% during the forecast period.

  • The ongoing construction and expansion activities related to several airports in the Middle-East is expected to generate significant demand for ground handling systems in the coming years. Also, countries in Africa have plans to enhance the passenger and cargo handling capacity of airports. This may propel the growth of the market during the forecast period.
  • The growing emphasis on the modernization of ground handling systems to improve the reliability, safety, and efficiency of ground operations and aircraft handling is expected to propel the market in the years to come. Advancements in mechatronics and robotics, along with electrical and mechanical innovations, are expected to play a vital role in increasing the efficiency of ground handling operations in the airports in the region.

Key Market Trends

Increasing Air Passenger Traffic Necessitating the Procurement of Latest Ground Handling Systems

In the Middle-East and Africa region, the number of people opting for air travel has increased in the past few years. In 2019, airlines in this region accounted for over 12% of the global air passenger traffic. The increase in passenger traffic has resulted in an increase in pressure on airports and airlines to opt for advanced ground handling infrastructure that can enhance their ground operations and support their motive of reducing aircraft turnaround time. Correspondingly, airports are procuring an array of ground handling systems to facilitate the quick and smooth flow of passengers, baggage, and cargo, thereby increasing the efficiency of the airports. Along with this, ground handlers are procuring environment-friendly technologies that reduce the carbon footprint from the ever-increasing number of airport ground handling operations. In Dubai International Airport, the ground handling service provider dnata has replaced a large number of its ramp vehicles, GSE, and forklifts with hybrid or electric alternatives that help in extending life-cycles, decrease engine emissions and reduce waste. In December 2019, dnata performed its first safe turnaround of a flydubai Boeing 737-800 aircraft using its new zero-emission ramp ground support equipment (GSE) at Dubai International’s (DXB) Terminal 2. Such developments are expected to enhance the market prospects during the forecast period.

Saudi Arabia is Expected to Show Significant Growth in the Market

Saudi Arabia witnessed the highest number of passenger traffic and flight movements from airports, in 2018. Its passenger traffic grew from 92.42 million passengers in 2017, to 99.86 million passengers in 2018, with an increase of 8%. The Saudi government approved an expansion plan for the country’s airports to renovate old airports and new ones constructed as a part of the transport development program for Vision 2030. The planned expansion includes the redevelopment of the airports in Al Ahsa, Abha, Al Qassim, Arar, Hail, and Jazan as well as the construction of new terminals at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. There are also plans to develop new airports in Al-Qunfudah, Farasan Island and Taif, Riyadh North, and Riyadh South. Correspondingly, ground handling companies are being awarded long term ground handling contracts. In January 2020, SATS Saudi Arabia won a 25-year cargo terminal concession in King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Riyadh cargo terminal will be the second cargo operation in Saudi Arabia for SATS, after the one at King Fahd International Airport in Dammam. Construction of the SATS Cargo Terminal in KKIA will take place over two phases with the first phase expected to be completed in mid-2022. Upon full completion, the cargo terminal will have the capacity to handle up to 600,000 tonnes of cargo annually. Such contracts are expected to generate demand for the ground handling equipment in the country, thereby driving the market during the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape

Siemens AG, Cavotec SA, ALVEST, usimat sermees, and ERSEL are some of the prominent players in the market. Ground handling systems manufacturers are focusing on increasing their sales in the region, as the demand for new equipment is increasing simultaneously with the growing airport infrastructure investments in the region. These players are investing heavily in research and development of future technologies to reduce the efforts of the ground support staff. Also, several players are focusing on the development of zero-emission ground handling vehicles, which is expected to generate new opportunities for the players during the forecast period in the region.

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