Business Aviation Enjoys Quality Services in Africa with HADID International Services

While Fixed Based Operators (FBOs) are the primary providers of flight support services to Business Aviation around the world, this aviation service model is still not widely spread across the African continent. With the exceptions of a few countries (South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco and Cape Verde) FBOs are almost non-existent in Africa.

All too commonly business jets operating to Africa are being handled by either commercial ground handlers whose main focus is on commercial airline operations, or by governmentally owned and managed ground handlers that belong to the countries’ national carriers or the local airport authorities. Consequently, the standard of service that business aviation travelers are experiencing in Africa lags behind the one they are used to when flying in North America, Europe and the main airports of the Middle and Far East. For years, business aviation operators suffered from shortcomings in the service and the responsiveness of the ground handler when in Africa, mainly due to the lack of suitable equipment, specialized business aviation service organizations and well-trained personnel.

With over 30 years of experience in the flight support market globally, supporting over 6000 flights in Africa in 2013, HADID turned its focus to a higher level of support services and extra care for business aviation flights. The Company took the initiative to establish a network of local flight support supervisory agents covering each and every airport in the African continent.

So many business aviation operators rely on HADID as their partner of choice whenever planning a business trip to Africa, as HADID’s involvement ensures the success and smooth and hassle-free trip operations.

After one such flight, a business aviation client recently wrote to HADID saying: “It is great to see that HADID services have remained excellent for many years and we cannot find enough words of gratitude to express true admiration of your personalized service. You and your team should be very proud to be one of the best handlers in the world and believe me I have seen a lot of handlers around the world. I know that airport formalities are not always easy but your team makes it so easy and enjoyable”. HADID’s involvement in the handling process resulted in a great customer experience, better than the experience they receive from the top handlers around the world, despite the modest aviation facilities available in this airport, which is one of the least developed countries in the world.

To further serve its clients flights to Africa and manage the relationships with the African civil aviation authorities and vendors, HADID recently opened its regional office in Johannesburg, South Africa.

HADID CEO Mr. Mohammed Abu Libdeh was asked about the secret behind HADID’s success in Africa, and the role it plays when serving a business flight. Mr. Abu Libdeh cited the following reasons:

  1. Timeliness is key, obtaining the required landing permit on time to ensure that the business aviation travelers achieve the goals of their trip on time.
  2. Appointment of local supervisors to supervise all the services delivered to the aircraft, the passengers and the crew. All these supervisors are fluent in English, which is commonly not spoken in many airports, as many of the local workers in the airports can only speak their local languages and are rarely proficient in English.
  3. Coordination between all the parties in the airport – the ground handling company, the airport authority, the civil aviation authority, the fuel supplier and the caterer – to ensure the harmonized provision of service for the smooth operation of the aircraft and the on-time departure. Airlines and commercial operators usually hire station managers and airport services staff to do this coordination. Due to the mission, size and unscheduled nature of business and corporate aviation, this privilege is not possible for them, so assigning a private local supervisor to perform the station manager tasks is more than essential.
  4. As time is of essence for business travelers, HADID’s supervision and coordination ensures the on-time service delivery and aircraft departure. Moreover, with limited equipment available, ground handlers tend to give more attention to scheduled commercial operation. Our local supervisors ensure that the business aircraft gets the attention and service the operator is looking for and expecting.
  5. Personal Guidance, passengers and crew are greeted by a local supervisor who assists them to pass through the airport’s customs, immigration and security formalities. This is of special importance in Africa due to the non-availability of separate terminals or immigration facilities for business aviation travelers, which means that the passengers must share the common facilities all the passengers use.
  6. Concierge – help passengers and crew with the arrangements of the land-side services, which are outside of the scope of services the ordinary ground handling companies provide, such as arranging transportation, hotel accommodation, or catering from hotels (when no specialized catering company is available in the airport, which is still the case in some countries).
  7. Convenience, with the non-acceptance of credit cards and the regulatory requirements to pay many services in cash before the aircraft departs, the local supervisor arranges for the payment of all the services whether in local or foreign currency. HADID’s single invoice system provides the aircraft operator with a convenient single invoice compiling all the amounts settled with all parties.
  8. Ensuring all the flight plans are filed with the ATC, and that all briefings are delivered to the flight crew, which is of extreme importance in airports where crew have no special lounge and access to computers, internet and printers.

HADID is giving away an exotic TRIP to AFRICA for 2, in its EBACE 2014 Raffle. The winners will be drawn at the HADID reception on the last day of the show at 11am to commemorate its opening of the South African office.

HADID’s AFRICA team can be reached around the clock on africa@hadid.aero

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