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OTHER ARTICLES Last modified on August 17, 2017

Going off campus

It might not be an equity investor in airports on the global stage, but Flughafen München GmbH (FMG) is arguably one of the most experienced providers of consulting, management and training services to gateways across the world, writes Vicky Donovan.

Munich Airport is one of the busiest gateways in Europe, regularly winning customer service and operational efficiency awards as it handles around 42 million passengers per annum.

The airport recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and arguably is the architect of its own success as the business model of operator, Flughafen München GmbH (FMG), is to do pretty much everything itself through in-house departments and specialist subsidiaries.

Indeed, FMG carrries out aviation, IT, technical, facility management, aviation security, ground handling and training services, and its range of non-aeronautical related commercial activities in Munich covers everything from real estate management and car parking operations to the retail and F&B concessions.

And it is using this knowledge to good effect internationally because while FMG may not yet be an equity investor in other airports across the globe like a Fraport or Groupe ADP, it has become a popular partner for management, consulting and training services.

In fact, Munich Airport‘s International Business Division has successfully supported more than 40 airports worldwide with tailor-made solutions over the last 25 years.

Its customers include airports, airlines, construction companies and other consulting companies and the projects it has been involved in have spanned all geographies and cultures.

FMG is, for example, currently providing Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) services for Muscat and Salalah airports in Oman and Changi Airport (Terminal 4) in Singapore.

It is also working at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia (ICT infrastructure planning and operational systems integration); Palmerola Airport in Honduras (development, management and operation of the new gateway); Cairo Airport in Egypt (ORAT, terminal operations and management of terminal 2); and Riyadh-King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia (health check and management support for airside and terminal operations).

Elsewhere in Saudi Arabia, a Saudi-led consortium has won the concession to develop the new Ta’if International Airport and, as a result, FMG will manage and operate the existing airport and be involved in the start up and operation of the new one.

The growth and development of this side of the business recently led FMG to create a dedicated international business subsidiary – Munich Airport International GmbH (MAI) – in a bid to take things to the next level.

MAI’s scope of services include planning and design; operational planning and start-up of new facilities (ORAT); commercial revenue optimisation; airport privatisation; training services; and airport management.

To keep up with global airport developments across the globe – the core of which is taking place outside of Europe – it has announced plans to set up new offices in Asia and the Americas.

“We continuously strive to widen our product portfolio, improve our support services and strengthen our global footprint,” says MAI’s managing director, Dr Ralf Gaffal.

“We will, for example, soon open regional offices in the Americas, Middle East and Asia that will allows us to respond quicker and more effectively to customer requests and local market requirements, in addition to reducing travel time and costs.

“As well as the new offices, we are also interested in co-operating with local consulting firms as strategic partners. This will allow us to break into new markets quicker, and benefit from existing networks and market insight.”

FMG is confident that establishing a subsidiary solely for its international, off-campus business, adds another string to its bow and make it less dependent on any one airport or market.

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