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Airport Ground and Cargo Handling Services Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Services (Passenger Handling, Baggage Handling, Cargo and Mail Handling, Aircraft Handling, Ramp Handling, and Others), By Airport Type (Domestic and International), By Infrastructure Type (Greenfield Airport and Brownfield Airport), and Regional Forecast, 2023-2030

Last Updated: July 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI105327



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The global airport ground and cargo handling services market size was valued at USD 35.23 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to grow from USD 39.91 billion in 2023 to USD 81.83 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 10.80% during the forecast period. North America dominated the airport ground and cargo handling services market with a market share of 35.2% in 2022.


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Airport ground and cargo handling services refer to taking care of aircraft at the terminal. Services include baggage handling, passenger handling, catering, ramp handling, and more. Ground handling allows flights to take off and land on time, ensuring that all boarding cards are issued correctly and that your bags are security checked and loaded onto the right aircraft. Increasing air traffic worldwide and developing new airports in developing countries are expected to drive the demand for these services during the forecast period.

The market expansion is further attributed to the growing demand for airport ground and cargo handling services across the globe. As per IATA (International Air Transport Association), the number of passengers is expected to reach 8.2 billion in 2037. Hence, ensuring effective and efficient ground and cargo handling is important. Based on our analysis, the global airport ground and cargo handling services market share grew exponentially from 2021 to 2022.


COVID-19 Pandemic Caused Aerospace Demand to Plummet with a Historic Downfall 

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic impact on passenger transport, related services, and revenue. The global airport industry recorded billions of dollars in losses in 2020 due to the pandemic. According to the Airports Council, passengers fell short of 620 million in the first quarter. This sharp decline in air traffic significantly reduced domestic and international revenues. Additionally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had a drastic impact on passenger transport. Airlines worldwide focused on reducing active fleet sizes to minimize operating costs and reduce the demand for airport services, hindering airport ground and cargo handling services market growth.


Increasing Use of Emerging Technologies Such As IoT to Bolster Market Growth

The latest technology trend is Internet of Things (IoT) solutions based on cloud router technology. The Nimbus gateway connects the fence device to the cloud router. The main features of the cloud router technology are real-time alerts, a user-friendly interface, and an advanced logging system. A cloud router is a technically advanced gateway that routes signal connections between the administrator of the cloud router and the users of the electric fence and the devices in their respective areas.

Extensive use of cloud router technology in warehouse security management is an emerging trend. The airport ground and cargo handling are expected to grow as more companies adopt IoT-based cloud router technology for warehouse security. For instance, in May 2022, Celebi Aviation, an Indian ground cargo handling company, announced to start of ground and cargo handling at airports using IoT and blockchain.

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Rising Investment in Airport Infrastructure to Augment Market Growth

A continuous increase in air travel in developing countries such as India and China is expected to increase the demand for new airports in major countries. Increasing government investment and modernization of old airports are slated to drive airport ground and cargo handling services market growth. The development of new airports and the modernization of existing airports will improve the customer experience in the coming years. Additionally, the increased demand for upgraded air traffic control systems, improved gate capacity, and longer runways are expected to propel industry growth. Airport expansion projects worldwide would increase demand for low-cost ground handling and freight facilities and services offered at the airport.

According to a report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), by 2037, the number of passengers will double to 8.2 billion. China is expected to become the largest aviation market by 2024. The IATA report states that India will be ranked third and surpass the U.K. by 2024. In addition, the Ministry of Civil Aviation's Vision 2040 report says that by 2040 there will be 190-200 operating airports in India. Therefore, as the number of airports increases, the demand for airport ground and cargo handling services is anticipated to rise.

Increase in Post-Pandemic Travel to Drive Market Growth

The number of COVID-19 patients is going down and there is ease in travel restrictions and the implementation of safety regulations by airlines and airport authorities. These factors are propelling airport ground and cargo handling services market growth considering the subsequent rise in the number of travelers in the post-pandemic period. A recent survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) based on 4,700 respondents from 11 countries around the world revealed that about 60% of the respondents expected to be traveling within two months of the pandemic's containment, and over 70% would do so as soon as they can to meet friends and family.

However, it is noteworthy that despite the universal desire to travel, nations would manage their plans to reopen differently. Two major factors to be considered here would be vaccination rates and current COVID-19 cases. People living in countries with uncontainable levels of cases and limited access to vaccines, such as various countries in Africa, would continue to have tight travel restrictions for some time. As the cases reduce, people would be able to travel to such countries as well. Hence airport ground and cargo handling is expected to experience high demand in the forecast period.


Operational Risks and Limited Lifespan of Ground Processing Equipment (GPE) to Limit Market Growth

Airlines have numerous implementations of high-quality airport systems and ways to improve the passenger travel experience in the shortest possible time. The focus is on providing airport ground processing and cargo processing services. Therefore, airlines must invest substantially to provide improved aircraft and passenger support services. However, it incurs additional costs due to the regular replacement of short-life airport systems. The product life of ground processing equipment is 6 to 9 years and needs to be replaced after a certain period. Therefore, the initial investment and the airport ground processing equipment's limited life will restrain the industry growth.

In addition, risks associated with operating ground treatment equipment, such as lifting injuries, contact with moving vehicles, and aircraft collisions with ground treatment equipment are likely to hinder the industry’s growth. In addition, refueling and the danger of refueling can lead to spills or fuel fires due to equipment malfunction, improper procedures, and distraction. Therefore, the regular replacement of airport systems due to operational risk and the limited life of ground processing equipment could hamper the market growth.


By Service Analysis

Passenger Handling Segment to Dominate Owing to Increased Demand for Efficient Movement

Based on service, the market share is divided into ramp handling, baggage handling, cargo and mail handling, passenger handling, aircraft handling, and others. In 2022, the passenger handling services segment had an overwhelming share of 25.22%. Passenger service facilitates the efficient movement of passengers from initial check-in to boarding.

The baggage handling segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This is due to the growing airport security concerns and technological advances in OEM baggage handling systems. Meanwhile, increasing demand for ramp processing services drives the demand for aircraft unloading, pushback, loading planning, shunting, surface maintenance, and airport transportation.

The cargo and mail handling services segment recorded a significant market share in 2022. A rise in demand for air freight to transport goods such as emergency medical services during the pandemic is expected to boost cargo and mail processing demand over the forecast period.

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By Airport Type Analysis

Increasing Domestic Flights Due to Increased Development in the Business & Tourism Sectors to Boost the Segment Growth  

Based on the types of airport, the market is divided into domestic and international. The domestic segment experienced the maximum market share and growth in 2022. The rise in domestic flights is expected to drive segment growth due to increased development in business, tourism, and other sectors. As stated by World Airport Transport Service, the CAGR of domestic passenger traffic is expected to be 10.18% between 2023 and 2030. Increased air traffic in emerging countries such as China and India will drive market growth.

Meanwhile, the international segment will provide gradual growth in 2023-2030. This increase is due to an increase in international air passenger transport worldwide, a growth in airports and airlines, and increased spending on air travel. As per the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), global passenger traffic will increase by 4.2% each year over the next 20 years.

By Infrastructure Type Analysis

Brownfield Airports to Gain Dominance in Forecast Years Owing To Increased Expenditure on Modernization

Based on infrastructure type, the market is divided into greenfield airport and brownfield airport. The brownfield airport segment held the largest share in 2022 and will continue to dominate over the forecast period. This increase is due to increased spending on airport modernization and expansion. In 2022, Telangana, a state in India, planned to revitalize three old airports and create two brownfield airports and one greenfield airport. The airports are expected to be made in Adilabad, Nizamabad, and Warangal.

The greenfield segment, on the other hand, is projected to show a higher CAGR over the forecast period 2023-2030. The increasing number of greenfield airport projects in different countries will drive segment growth. Moreover, the demand for smart airport infrastructure is increasing significantly. This is poised to propel segment growth during the forecast period. For instance,

  • In September 2022, LAS Goldair Handling, an Indian services joint venture, launched its services at two of India's airports. The services have been established at Bagdogra International Airport and Udaipur Airport.


The market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World.

North America Airport Ground and Cargo Handling Services Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)

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The North American airport ground and freight handling services market had the largest share in in 2022 worth USD 12.40 billion. This growth is due to the presence of several major airports, a thriving aviation sector, and increased spending on airport modernization.

During the forecast period, the European market is expected to grow moderately. This growth is due to an upsurge in air travel in countries such as the U.K., Germany, and France. Increasing spending on the aviation sector will also boost market growth across Europe.

The Asia Pacific market is expected to record the highest growth during the forecast period. Increased international and domestic passenger transport is expected to support market growth. In addition, a large investment in a new airport project in India will drive the demand for improved airport ground and cargo handling services and a rise in demand for IoT-based interfaces at airports for better customer experience and surveillance activities, driving the market in Asia Pacific.

The market growth in other parts of the world is due to the development of smart airports. The increasing number of tourists in the Middle East is also expected to drive market growth. The growth of Latin America is attributed to the rising investment in the construction and automation of existing airports in Brazil and Mexico.


Key Players Are Focused On Providing a Variety of Cost-Effective Services To Survive In The Market

The market's competitive environment is highly fragmented due to several major players, such as Fraport AG, Dnata, and Swissport International AG. These companies focus on providing cost-effective services such as passenger and baggage handling, lamp handling, catering, and cargo handling. These companies provide ground and cargo handling services at the Airport following the Airport Handling Manual (AHM) 810 guidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

List of Key Companies Profiled:


  • October 2022Swissport International AG, a Switzerland-based airline company, assisted Oman's airline- Salam Air, in cargo handling at Muscat international airport. This was the only cargo flight by an Oman-based airline. Swissport International AG was responsible for the cargo handling of this inaugural flight.

  • December 2022The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced a transition to investing in advanced ground support equipment (GSE). This transition is expected to reduce the cost of damage and improve overall safety. Enhanced GSE uses inching and anti-collision technology, increases docking accuracy and improves vehicle control, all of which minimize the risk of damaging aircraft and personnel injuries.

  • November 2022 – Celebi Tanzania Airport Services Limited, a subsidiary of Çelebi Aviation, inked a new agreement with Dubai-based aviation services company flydubai. The deal was aimed at providing ground handling services in Tanzania.

  • August 2022 - Telangana, a state in India, planned to revitalize three old airports and create three Greenfield airports. The airports are expected to be made in Adilabad, Nizamabad, and Warangal.

  • May 2022 - Celebi Aviation, an Indian ground cargo handling company, announced the deployment of emerging technologies such as IoT and blockchain in their operations.


An Infographic Representation of Airport Ground and Cargo Handling Services Market

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The report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on aspects such as service types, airport types, infrastructure types, and key players. In addition, market research reports provide insights into industry trends, competitive environment, market competition, product prices, and market conditions, focusing on key industry developments. In addition to the above factors, it contains several factors that have contributed to the sizing of the global market in recent years.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 10.80% from 2023 to 2030


Value (USD Billion)


By Services, Airport Type, Infrastructure Type, and Geography

By Services

  • Passenger Handling

  • Baggage Handling

  • Cargo and Mail Handling

  • Aircraft Handling

  • Ramp Handling

  • Others

By Airport Type

  • Domestic

  • International


By Infrastructure Type

  • Greenfield Airport

  • Brownfield Airport


  • North America (By Services, Airport Type, Infrastructure Type, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Airport Type)

    • Canada (By Airport Type)

  • Europe (By Services, Airport Type, Infrastructure Type, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Airport Type)

    • Germany (By Airport Type)

    • France (By Airport Type)

    • Italy (By Airport Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Airport Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Services, Airport Type, Infrastructure Type, and Country)

    • China (By Airport Type)

    • India (By Airport Type)

    • Japan (By Airport Type)

    • Australia (By Airport Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Airport Type)

  • Rest of the World (By Services, Airport Type, Infrastructure Type, and Country)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Airport Type)

    • Latin America (By Airport Type)


Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights stated that the global market size was USD 35.23 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 81.83 billion by 2030.

Registering a CAGR of 10.80%, the market will exhibit rapid growth during the forecast period (2023-2030).

The baggage handling service segment will dominate this market during the forecast period.

Çelebi Ground Handling, Fraport AG, Swissport International AG, and Dnata are the leading players in the global market.

North America topped the market in terms of shares in 2023.

The U.S. dominated the market in terms of brownfield airports in 2022.

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