Airport Ground Handling Systems Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)
The Airport Ground Handling Systems Market was valued at USD 8.64 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 14.10 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of about 8.8% during the forecast period, 2021 - 2026.
The aviation sector has been affected greatly due to the slump in the demand among travelers and the travel restrictions imposed by many countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the aircraft movements decreased, the demand for airport ground handling services was affected significantly, thereby affecting the market of airport ground handling systems in 2020.
However, as the air travel is slowly recovering to return to pre-COVID levels in the coming future, the deliveries of new aircraft as well as plans of the airlines to introduce new routes and increase flight movements are expected to increase the aircraft movements, which is anticipated to drive the growth of airport ground handling systems market during the forecast period.
The construction of new airports and expansion of existing airports as well as privatization of airports is expected to drive the growth of the airport ground handling systems market during the forecast period.
The current plans of airports to decrease their carbon footprint is generating demand for integration of advanced technologies like electric aircraft tugs, automation systems, and augmented reality (AR) glasses for ramp handling operations is expected to accelerate the growth of the market in the coming years.
Cargo and Baggage Handling Segment Accounted for a Major Revenue Share in 2020
The cargo and baggage handling segment currently dominates the market and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. The segment includes cargo pallets, cargo and baggage loaders & containers, trolleys, transporters, conveyor belt loaders, and other cargo and baggage transportation systems. The ground handling companies are expanding their cargo services in airports globally, which is generating demand for the procurement of advanced cargo handling equipment. In this regard, Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), the largest air cargo handler announced that the company in collaboration with Descartes Systems introduced cargo ULD tracking capability. Under the initiative, they deployed Descartes Core Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) readers to provide enhanced real-time shipment visibility and cost-efficient asset management solutions to the airlines. In addition to this, the ground handling companies are manufacturing advanced cargo handling systems to efficiently handle packages from the aircraft. For instance, in August 2020, John Bean Technologies Corp. (JBT) introduced JBT Cargo Chute, a solution for unloading packages from the passenger cabins. The chute can be attached to existing or new passenger steps, which will allow the packages to slide safely in a controlled manner thereby eliminating the need to either carry the goods while walking down or have additional operators on the steps to pass the goods to each other. Such developments are anticipated to accelerate the growth of the segment in the coming years.
Asia-Pacific Region is Expected to Witness Highest Growth During the Forecast Period
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period. Over the past few years, due to a rapid increase in passenger traffic in the region, the airport authorities in few countries have robustly invested in the expansion of existing airports and the construction of new airports to cater to growing passenger traffic. In addition to this, the plans of the airlines and aircraft operators in the region to increase their fleet of aircraft are also expected to increase their aircraft movements. Such investments into the development of new airport infrastructure are expected to increase the airport handling capacity as well as an increasing the fleet of aircraft expected to generate demand for new ground handling equipment in the coming years. Furthermore, the plans of the airport operators to decrease the carbon footprint have accelerated the replacement of diesel-run ground handling equipment with electric equipment. For instance, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is currently installing solar panels and e-vehicles in various airports across India as part of adopting a clean energy initiative. As of November 2020, the airport operator announced its plans to induct more electric vehicles for ground handling aircraft operations during 2021 at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the airports are inducting advanced technologies to support contactless ground handling operations at the airport. In this regard, as of March 2020, the All-Nippon Airways entered in partnership with Toyota Industries to test autonomous towing tractor in the restricted area at Tokyo Haneda Airport. Such investments into introduction of advanced technologies are anticipated to propel the growth of the market in this region.
The airport ground handling systems market is highly fragmented due to the presence of numerous local players that provide a wide range of ground handling systems. The key players in the market are Cavotec SA, John Bean Technologies Corp., ADELTE Group SL, Textron Inc., and Vestergaard Company. Strategic acquisition and partnerships, along with the establishment of manufacturing and production facilities locally, can be helpful for players to establish a foothold in the local and regional markets. With the current trend of deploying electric ground handling systems at airports, the manufacturers are developing and testing new eco-friendly (electric) equipment, which is expected to help the companies increase their share in the market. For instance, in December 2020, Goldhofer unveiled a new improved version of the Sherpa E battery-powered cargo tow tractor equipped with a direct drive motor with a maximum torque of 1,050 Nm as well as a modular battery system with intelligent temperature management. Over the past few years, the airlines and airport ground handling service providers are partnering with manufacturers to introduce electric ground handling systems. Such partnerships are also expected to support the growth of the companies in the coming years.