Loyalty bonuses and indemnities under debate in the war against attrition on the apron at GHI’s Asian Conference

Written by: Felicity Stredder |
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Suring up employee contracts with loyalty incentives or indemnities against early resignation should be considered by Asian ground handlers in the battle against soaring attrition, delegates at GHI’s 12th Asian Conference in Kuala Lumpur heard.

Leading operators also backed outreach visits to local schools to promote career opportunities on the apron during the GHI Big Debate on meeting the challenge of spectacular volume growth across Asia.

Chee Hong Tan, COO at Hactl said: “It’s tough because you find that some parents don’t want their son or daughter working under the hot sun all day. So, we actively get out into schools and educate young people about the opportunities ground handling can open up. We have a successful internship and always look to ask our people: ‘what innovation can you bring?’”

Indemnities to encourage greater service length were also mooted by the panel to protect employers from losing staff after heavy investment in their training. However, any such initiative would be likely to clash with employment laws, a panel including leaders at Malaysia Airlines, Aerodarat, Global Load Control, Hactl, Aviapartner, Celebi and POS Aviation heard.

Skills shortages were named the top operational challenge by GSPs in Asia according to a pre-conference GHI survey, with panel members reporting attrition of 30% or more during the Big Debate session.

Automation could offer respite from turnover for less skilled positions, the panel concluded, but humans would always be needed for higher skilled aviation roles. GSE pooling was also debated as a possible remedy for coping with volume growth, and moving towards more collaborative, value-led ground service partnerships was a prerequisite for meeting the boom in passenger numbers in Asia, panellists concurred.

The comments came as more than 350 aviation stakeholders gathered at the 12th Asian GHI Conference in Kuala Lumpur to agree a blueprint for sustainable aviation growth in Asia.

Look out for further coverage in April issue of GHI.

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