The travel and workload expected of each area manager is gruelling, but that comes with the territory. "Each area manager is now much more active and although we are still learning, we have defined their roles very clearly," says Rahko. "We have also managed to pinpoint through service level agreements exactly what it is we want from ground handlers."
Rahko offers that the strategy has worked particularly well in regions such as Asia - a crucial growth market for Finnair - where the prevailing culture is naturally focussed on service and quality. When Finnair began operations at Hong Kong, for instance, it selected a manager from the contracted ground handler to operate as an in-house station manager.
"Today, the ground handling agent has taken on a bigger role than was traditionally expected," says Rahko.
Finnair will adopt a similar
approach when it reopens its Osaka Kansai route in June, although Rahko says
no decision has been made whether to use airline staff when the carrier opens
its Shanghai route in September.
Cover Story Ground Services: To Have and To Hold? by Richard Rowe With cost always a major driver, there can be few airlines that have not deliberated on whether to turn existing ground...