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Airventure737
Topic Author
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How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:55 am

Let's say that Southwest Airlines is planning to begin service at a new city. How do they get equipment like tugs (they operate their own tugs, right?), baggage loaders, etc. to the new city?
Last edited by SQ22 on Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Typo fixed
 
drdisque
Posts: 1270
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:57 am

Re: How do airlines movie equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:03 am

On the back of a flatbed truck owned and operated by a road freight company.

Basically the same way any other company would move medium sized equipment around the country.
 
freakyrat
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Re: How do airlines movie equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:21 am

For Example: American is starting service in South Bend Indiana in June. Most likely they will truck GSE equipment to SBN from Chicago O'Hare. Since SBN is installing a CUPP's System with Common Use Gates, American will not need any gate or ticket counter computers.
 
Lofty
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:49 am

Best way is to buy new and get the manufacturer to deliver to new airport.
 
STLflyer
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:33 pm

So what about when the new city is half a world away? I guess same thing, except a cargo plane instead of a truck?

How about crew? Like when WW starts STL-KEF next month. The crew that flies the inaugural KEF-STL won't be able to fly back to KEF, I guess they'll just send a crew to STL on another airline a few days before the inaugural STL-KEF flight?
 
FGITD
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:51 pm

STLflyer wrote:
So what about when the new city is half a world away? I guess same thing, except a cargo plane instead of a truck?

How about crew? Like when WW starts STL-KEF next month. The crew that flies the inaugural KEF-STL won't be able to fly back to KEF, I guess they'll just send a crew to STL on another airline a few days before the inaugural STL-KEF flight?



Usually they'll buy something more "local" to save costs. Take a look at GSE used in Europe vs North America. Same purpose, but generally looks a bit different. Or for certain manufacturers, they'll ship it worldwide by boat. For example, TLD makes great loading equipment and pushbacks, built in Germany and shipped Worldwide


As for crews, that's correct. A crew will fly in on a different airline (or deadhead via a different city that is served)
 
CXfirst
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:53 pm

STLflyer wrote:
So what about when the new city is half a world away? I guess same thing, except a cargo plane instead of a truck?


When it is "half a world away" airlines don't generally have their own ground crew but rather use a contractor. These contractors generally have the equipment, of if not, they will source it, or the airline will send it (depends on the contract). Some of the contractor employees will generally receive some sort of training ahead on new systems and procedures. Either by them traveling to another port, or an airline sourced trainer coming.

Cargo containers (which widebody baggage will also use) might get sent ahead of time, or they'll use another airlines containers at the start, or if the aircraft is scheduled to be on ground long enough, then they might use the containers that came with the inaugeral flight.

This is my experience with working at a large, but relatively remote airport.
 
Andy33
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:07 pm

FGITD wrote:
Usually they'll buy something more "local" to save costs. Take a look at GSE used in Europe vs North America. Same purpose, but generally looks a bit different.

It makes sense to use equipment that's already in service in the same country if you can, you hardly want to fly a mechanic in from half way round the world to maintain a tug, for example.
But in the case of "half way round the world" it seems unlikely any airline starting service at a new airport outside their home country these days would ever set up with their own ground staff and equipment. Unless they intend to go straight from no flights a day to 10 flights a day or something, it isn't going to be economic. The normal method is to hire a station manager to supervise local ground handling contractors, (or arrange with a friendly local airline to use their staff), who use equipment they already have. If it is an LCC or ULCC, there probably isn't a station manager either.
There's a good example on another forum today, where an incident at SJC involving a disabled passenger brought out that British Airways have no employees at all at that airport, even the Station Manager is actually based at SFO. Everyone works for a contractor. But then, there's only one flight a day. What would full time BA ground staff do for the rest of the day?
 
freakyrat
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:29 pm

When F9 started their short lived SBN-DEN service a few years back they used DGS who were already at the airport serving Delta. Only equipmenrt DGS brought in was a large tug and towbars and a portable A/C cart for Airbus Aircrraft. The GSE equipment didn't go to waste after F9 pulled out beacuse Delta regulary uses Airbus aircraft in SBN for football weekends and ND special events.
 
FGITD
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:08 pm

Andy33 wrote:
FGITD wrote:
Usually they'll buy something more "local" to save costs. Take a look at GSE used in Europe vs North America. Same purpose, but generally looks a bit different.

It makes sense to use equipment that's already in service in the same country if you can, you hardly want to fly a mechanic in from half way round the world to maintain a tug, for example.
But in the case of "half way round the world" it seems unlikely any airline starting service at a new airport outside their home country these days would ever set up with their own ground staff and equipment. Unless they intend to go straight from no flights a day to 10 flights a day or something, it isn't going to be economic. The normal method is to hire a station manager to supervise local ground handling contractors, (or arrange with a friendly local airline to use their staff), who use equipment they already have. If it is an LCC or ULCC, there probably isn't a station manager either.
There's a good example on another forum today, where an incident at SJC involving a disabled passenger brought out that British Airways have no employees at all at that airport, even the Station Manager is actually based at SFO. Everyone works for a contractor. But then, there's only one flight a day. What would full time BA ground staff do for the rest of the day?



Entirely correct. I think I may have strayed more into the world of how a ground handler rather than an airline, would start up a new station.

And really, even foreign carriers with major operations at an outstation don't bring their own equipment. They may have their own staff (uncommon for more than just managers) but it would be highly unusual to have their own gse.
 
masseybrown
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:15 pm

UA used 777s a couple of times to haul surplus property out of Cleveland when they shut the hub down. They must have been in an unholy hurry to get the gear somewhere.
 
jeffrey0032j
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:25 pm

CXfirst wrote:
STLflyer wrote:
So what about when the new city is half a world away? I guess same thing, except a cargo plane instead of a truck?


When it is "half a world away" airlines don't generally have their own ground crew but rather use a contractor. These contractors generally have the equipment, of if not, they will source it, or the airline will send it (depends on the contract). Some of the contractor employees will generally receive some sort of training ahead on new systems and procedures. Either by them traveling to another port, or an airline sourced trainer coming.

Cargo containers (which widebody baggage will also use) might get sent ahead of time, or they'll use another airlines containers at the start, or if the aircraft is scheduled to be on ground long enough, then they might use the containers that came with the inaugeral flight.

This is my experience with working at a large, but relatively remote airport.

Can the airline that is setting up shop at a new airport "lease" the containers to the airline carrying those containers to the new station? That will make it a bit more efficient instead of carrying fresh air.
 
blueflyer
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:30 pm

jeffrey0032j wrote:
Can the airline that is setting up shop at a new airport "lease" the containers to the airline carrying those containers to the new station? That will make it a bit more efficient instead of carrying fresh air.

There is no need to "lease" a container when you can actually lease anywhere from one to an entire fleet of containers on contracts that range from one flight to one year.
ACL and Jettainer are two examples of companies whose sole business plan is leasing containers to airlines.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:40 pm

First off Airlines usually contract out ground handling at new stations. They typically start small and will use other companies to service the airplanes. They won’t need tugs, belt loaders, etc.

If the airline starts a brand new station up with their own equipment, it is a multi month effort. Equipment is part of it. The airline needs office space in the airport. They need a station manager. They need to set up an entity with the airport authority to get access badges. They need contracts for catering, water & waste, fuel, cleaning, ground handling, passenger handling, maintenance plus more. They need to get some commonly used spare parts like tires, oil, hydraulic fluid, seat cushions, etc. Some equipment and parts may be new, and others may be from the existing inventory from the airline from other stations.

I have never seen ground handling equipment flown in except for AOG maintenance repair. Airlines can COMAT cargo, but rarely fly in equipment before the first flight.
 
jeffrey0032j
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:41 pm

blueflyer wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:
Can the airline that is setting up shop at a new airport "lease" the containers to the airline carrying those containers to the new station? That will make it a bit more efficient instead of carrying fresh air.

There is no need to "lease" a container when you can actually lease anywhere from one to an entire fleet of containers on contracts that range from one flight to one year.
ACL and Jettainer are two examples of companies whose sole business plan is leasing containers to airlines.

No, what I meant was the following:

- Airline A is the airline setting up shop at an airport
- Airline B already flies to the airport.

- Airline A has their own containers that they would like to ship to the new station in preparation of the first flight (and lets say for some reasons air freight makes more sense).

Can Airline A "lease" their own containers to Airline B for Airline B to use just for one flight, and Airline B utilizes those containers for their own cargo or bags? In that way, Airline A gets their containers where they want them to be and Airline B gets to carry more cargo than it would be if those containers are empty.
 
32andBelow
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:45 pm

Either try to buy equipment already at the airport. This happens at small airports where one carrier will replace another.

Buy new equipment and have the manufacturer diliver it there.

Or ship their own equipment in a truck.
 
CXfirst
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:05 pm

jeffrey0032j wrote:
blueflyer wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:

Can Airline A "lease" their own containers to Airline B for Airline B to use just for one flight, and Airline B utilizes those containers for their own cargo or bags? In that way, Airline A gets their containers where they want them to be and Airline B gets to carry more cargo than it would be if those containers are empty.


They probably could be used with freight. But, that just complicates logistics. There generally is plenty of space for ULD containers, especially if it is spread across a few flights. They are relatively light, so they just need an open position on a flight. In any case, if they send anything ahead of start of operations, it would usually just be the minimum necessary for the return flight.
 
blueflyer
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:23 pm

jeffrey0032j wrote:
No, what I meant was the following:

Too complicated to set up (think of the liability issues for one). More likely is airline A contracts with airline B and airline B flies x containers of airline A as cargo to airline A's new outstation.
Even more likely, however, airline A trucks in x containers from an existing outstation within driving distance, or contracts with Jettainer for x containers from the new outstation back to the hub to cover the first inbound flight.
 
flydude380
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:39 pm

As a passenger service agent for a GHA, I would see stuff being shipped/cargoed over. On their flight of course. Things such as barriers as well as any airline stationary such as rolls of bag tags, boarding passes, pajamas etc... if the airline ever ended service, they would ask for the stuff to be shipped back :)
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:52 pm

Look up SwissPort, they’ll handle just about anybody, anywhere.

GF
 
32andBelow
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:17 pm

flydude380 wrote:
As a passenger service agent for a GHA, I would see stuff being shipped/cargoed over. On their flight of course. Things such as barriers as well as any airline stationary such as rolls of bag tags, boarding passes, pajamas etc... if the airline ever ended service, they would ask for the stuff to be shipped back :)

I think they are talking about rugs and beltloaders. Not bag tags.
 
flydude380
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:24 pm

32andBelow wrote:
flydude380 wrote:
As a passenger service agent for a GHA, I would see stuff being shipped/cargoed over. On their flight of course. Things such as barriers as well as any airline stationary such as rolls of bag tags, boarding passes, pajamas etc... if the airline ever ended service, they would ask for the stuff to be shipped back :)

I think they are talking about rugs and beltloaders. Not bag tags.


Well, equipment can mean a variety of things -__-
 
Utah744
Posts: 231
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:41 pm

I've seen jetways loaded on a flatbed truck on the interstate.
You are never too old to learn something stupid
 
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HAWK21M
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:40 pm

Mostly transported by Road on trucks.
Some large equipment are dismantled to fit in the transport vehicle
Fuel is drained and Battery removed for safety purposes.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:07 am

FGITD wrote:
STLflyer wrote:
So what about when the new city is half a world away? I guess same thing, except a cargo plane instead of a truck?

How about crew? Like when WW starts STL-KEF next month. The crew that flies the inaugural KEF-STL won't be able to fly back to KEF, I guess they'll just send a crew to STL on another airline a few days before the inaugural STL-KEF flight?


Usually they'll buy something more "local" to save costs. Take a look at GSE used in Europe vs North America. Same purpose, but generally looks a bit different. Or for certain manufacturers, they'll ship it worldwide by boat. For example, TLD makes great loading equipment and pushbacks, built in Germany and shipped Worldwide

As for crews, that's correct. A crew will fly in on a different airline (or deadhead via a different city that is served)


Typically both. Deadhead to a city nearby, then pax on another airline for the last sector.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
26point2
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:50 pm

Perhaps not what the OP is after but still a fun story.....

When the old AUS closed in 1999 all the GSE was driven down the highway late at night in a convoy to the new AUS several miles away. Tugs and all. I imagine the road was closed to regular traffic for this I vaguely recall seeing pictures of the conga line.
 
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aeromoe
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:20 pm

By railroad of course!!!!
AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR(1) BY B6 CO CP(2) DG DL EA EI EN FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KL KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(1) OZ(2) PA PI PT QF QQ RM RO RV(1) RV(2) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(2) ZZ 9K
 
CplKlinger
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:56 am

26point2 wrote:
Perhaps not what the OP is after but still a fun story.....

When the old AUS closed in 1999 all the GSE was driven down the highway late at night in a convoy to the new AUS several miles away. Tugs and all. I imagine the road was closed to regular traffic for this I vaguely recall seeing pictures of the conga line.


Didn't that also happen with the move from Stapleton to the new Denver airport? I seem to recall that being a thing.
 
Dalmd88
Posts: 3131
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:02 pm

26point2 wrote:
Perhaps not what the OP is after but still a fun story.....

When the old AUS closed in 1999 all the GSE was driven down the highway late at night in a convoy to the new AUS several miles away. Tugs and all. I imagine the road was closed to regular traffic for this I vaguely recall seeing pictures of the conga line.

Reminds me of a story. While working at a unnammed Line station one guy told me he took a belt loader out one night to pick up lunch from a local pizza place. He remarked, 'those things are lot longer than you think once you pull into a pizza shop parking lot.' He is a lead mechanic now.
 
Kno
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Re: How do airlines move equipment to new cities?

Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:20 am

Occasionally I see gse on the back of a flatbed and I've seen catering and stair trucks on the highway.

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