Recently, there have been some encouraging words for aviation ground support equipment and services companies tucked in with the gloomy news of bankruptcies and SARS - you just have to know where to look.
The spring aviation shows provided some solid new business announcements from the government, military, and regional airlines. At our own AS3/GSE International Expo in May, several of the seminars explained the various service and equipment needs of the government and airline markets. Washington DC-based Malyszek and Malyszek Federal Government Contract Consulting & Litigation firm discussed how to go about submitting proposals to the 22 agencies within the five major divisions of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Attorney Robert J. Malyszek told the audience that the DHS "has a lot of money but needs guidance as to exactly what they need" and outlined for attendees how to find contacts as well as approach those contacts with a strong business proposal.
A standing room only crowd at the Electric Power - Fuel Cells, Batteries, Hybrids panel discussion were given a look into the future of advancing technologies as well as the requirements for infrastructure critical to the support of these new products for military and commercial use.
Also meeting at this year's Expo was the National Air Transportation Association's Airline Services Council (ASC), which consists of companies that provide services to scheduled air carriers as their primary business. The ASC had recently commissioned a study to find the size and scope of the airline service industry. This study was used to establish a baseline of demographics and significant attributes of this growing segment. It was determined that companies engaged in providing services to scheduled airlines had annual revenues of at least $3.3 billion in 2002 and employed more than 125,000 workers.
The big stories from the Regional Airline Association's annual convention involved several regional carriers that were stepping up orders and deliveries of new aircraft. US Airways announced a massive aircraft order of approximately $4.3 billion worth of RJs from Bombardier and Embraer. These are new and different aircraft for the carrier and its subsidiaries, which should cause ground support equipment suppliers to salivate at the prospects for new business.
At the end of May, it was reported that AirTran Airways is making plans to acquire 100 new airplanes. The low-fare carrier made $10.7 million last year, and CEO Joe Leonard wants to expand the Florida-based company by 25 percent a year. AirTran currently is meeting with Airbus and Boeing because Leonard wants to add a new plane type to the fleet that's suitable for coast-to-coast flights - either the Boeing 737 or the Airbus A319. By year's end, the airline will phase out a few remaining DC-9s and have a fleet of 73 Boeing 717s.
At the time of this writing, Emirates Airlines is expected to place a large order for aircraft from both Boeing and Airbus at the Paris Air Show in mid-June.
The potential for finding new business looks to be improving and hopefully, this short report provided some leads to help in growing your operations.
Thanks for reading.
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AirTran Airways announced that it has accepted delivery of its 50th Boeing 737-700 aircraft.
Leonard told investors that 50 seaters were increasingly unprofitable with mainline route structures and would definitely not work with a low-cost operator.
AirTran Airways, Inc., announced that the airline set a record for the number of new hires starting to work for the airline on a single day, many new hires are mechanics.
Airlines added to the Dept. of Transportation list of major carriers must have $1 billion or more in annual revenue.