From left to right: Sébastien Prat, Head of the Business Unit Competence Centre Altea, Steve Bleichner, Support Service Division Coordinator, Frédéric Meyer, President, Florent Léon Head of the Business Unit services IT, Claire Maisongrande, Head of the Business Unit training, Thierry Rosolin Head of Operations, Anne Meyer, Administrative and Financial Services.
Fréderic Meyer is one of the major characters of the airport assistance business. Before the end of the AMC Group adventure, he foresaw the evolutions of this business area. Today, with MBAviation, founded in 2010, he and his team advise, implement and assist Amadeus’ users dedicated to airport assistants and operators.
Comments collected by David Cannard
How would you describe the airport assistance area over the past 20 years?
Frédéric Meyer :
Ground handling has always been following the dominant means of transport: before the Second World War, it was ships; then the commercial aviation that flourish at the Liberation. Harbour’s and river’s assistants have duplicated their knowledge towards Tarmacs. This is particularly the case of the Verougstraete’s, founders of the company Aviapartner (Belgavia at first) in 1949. Therefore there is a very strong common base between the two sectors. Today, the technological development is so strong that the profession changes and it struggles to reinvent itself.
What are the new challenges for Ground Handlers?
F.M. : In 1996, we already tried working "off-airport". Taking in consideration that 20% of cruise passengers were transported by air, we tried deporting baggage’s registration and its transportation to and from cruise ships. In 2010, the process was in place with Heliair Monaco. At the time, the market was not mature enough to acknowledge the value of this system; which is no longer the case today thanks to the development of various applications. Let’s imagine a congressman
who registers his baggage from the reception of his hotel or the convention centre, while he attends his business, his luggage is directly transported to the airport and his plane. Facilitation is a real challenge. Assistants who create value will survive.
What are the practical application for secondary airports?
Today, MBAviation focuses its development answering the concerns of secondary airports. MBAviation was one of the first tester and user of the Altéa software suite that we now sell on behalf of Amadeus. This software includes on a single platform: bookings (GDS), inventory management, registration process, boarding’s checking and centring (DCS). Today, we support small and medium airport operators either in the selection of a suitable IT system, or in its implementation, but also by training staff and assisting them on a first level support. We also guide training organizations such as Esma, Skyy Aviation in South Africa or even Sharaf Academy in Dubai on the same bases and shape their trainers. Thanks to this business MBAviation generated a turnover of one million euros in 2016.