The record-breaking conference was held from 28-30 November at the FIL in Lisbon, Portugal, welcoming 950 registered visitors through the doors, up almost 100 on the previous record set last year at the 23rd conference in Amsterdam.
There were representatives from 111 airlines and more than 70 exhibitors from across the ground handling industry had stands to network, do business and show off their latest products and services.
Sharing knowledge is an important part of Annual GHI conferences and the conference sessions welcomed speakers to discuss the issues of the day.
Sessions including asking what airlines want from ground handling v2.0, whether hydrogen is the fuel of the future, building the airport dream team, GSE of the future and handling passengers with reduced mobility.
The Cargo Zone made a return and was sponsored by Alliance Ground International, where discussions included drones, GSE innovation, tackling the skills shortage and e-commerce.
Aviapartner was this year's Platinum Sponsor and ONET Airport Services, MixJet and SGS were Gold Sponsors with Damarel and Easie by ICRON being the Silver Sponsors of this year's popular event.
Speaking on the final day, Conference Chairman Max Gosney was delighted with how the conference had worked out, thanking everyone for their support for making the show bigger and better than ever before.
He said: “It is a great benchmark for this event, for the industry to see such phenomenal demand and support by the world’s aviation community. Getting more airports than we have seen before, showing that spirit of collaboration to service demand and make sure passenger services remain at a world-class level is great.”
Gosney said it was great to see that people still value face-to-face events as they have shown since the return of Annual GHI conferences since the 22nd event was held in Copenhagen in September 2021.
The 22nd Annual GHI Conference was attended by around 400 people, which Gosney said was remarkable under the circumstances.
2023 was the first year GHI was able to hold all of its regional events, starting with the 14th Asian conference in Dubai in February, the 7th Americas conference in Punta Cana in June and the 6th African conference in Cape Town in September.
Gosney said: “We are on full power again, like the industry, for the first time since 2019 and it feels great. In stages we have moved out of the pandemic, now we are finally through it and are looking forward to developing next year.”
Gosney added that the ad-hoc feedback from the delegates had been very positive, praising the quality and scale of the event, saying that the target is to have 1,000 people attending the 25th Annual, which will be held in Barcelona, Spain from 3-5 December 2024.