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Report On Internship At National Handling Services

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This report is submitted in partial fulfillment requirements of Bachelor of Science in Travel and Recreation (BSTR) one has to experience one year of attachment at a certain organization. Industrial attachment also acted as the linking factor between the theory aspect of the program with the real process and operations of the industry. The report is not an exhaustive account of all the experiences l went through over the year, it’s a mere summary on the rich experience and a comprehensive picture of appreciation and skills offered at NHS. In addition, this report serves to give an overview of the functions and operations of the organization as well as the organization’s target market.

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Location and brief history of the organisation

National Handling Services (NHS) is located at Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA), 23km in the south direction. Its operation currently is being done at other internationally airports like Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport in Bulawayo and Robert Mugabe International Airport. It has got the capacity to operate at all airports in Zimbabwe National Handling Services is a company entirely owned by government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Transport Communication and Infrastructure Development. It was formed by Air Zimbabwe in 1989 and went on to be incorporated. It has the largest market share in aviation ground handling in Zimbabwe.

h2p>Vision and mission statement of the organisation

Vision: To be a world class provider of aviation ground handling services by 2020.

Mission: To provide ground handling services to its aviation clients.

Organization core values

Client Focus: The interest of the customer comes first, we are committed to meeting the service level expectation of our customer.

Teamwork: We believe that the organization hinges on the collaboration of individuals in the company and will promote and uphold teamwork and staff motivation.

Safety and Security: We go all out to develop the culture of promoting safety and security and order to mitigate risks arising from loss and damage to cargo, passengers within the work premises.

Accountability: We strive to provide clients and stakeholders with the info they may require to know about the company from time to time and we are accountable to the shareholder.

Professionalism: We have the right attitude to all our clients and stakeholders. As a corporate citizen we uphold professionalism in whatever we do.

Organizational structure

It determines how the roles, power and responsibilities are given also controlled and coordinated to show how information flows between the different levels of management and where it reports to within the organization. The organization structure is easy to recognize thus principle of unit of command.

NHS organogram

The organizational chart shows the relationship between members of National Handling Services, how they lay out in terms of formal communications showing how managers do and staff relate to each other. National Handling Services is currently using vertical organogram in which the highest level is of general manager then number of subordinates under each department.

The organization’s business

The writer was attached as the Marketing Operations Customer Services Agent. National Handling Services offer various departments which are passenger check in, load control, lost property office, ramp control, lounge service, cargo departments and information desk. In these departments there were number of task that the student have been assigned and initiated through her attachment period. The student was rotated among these departments to ensure that she was equipped with the skills expected and acquires knowledge as a source of experience.

Checking in passengers

The company gives service of checking in passengers and their baggage. This practice is still being done by individuals, for example National Handling Services which provides ground handling services to its clients unlike in other countries where passengers log in online they just come to board their plane. Check in involves of verification of identification on the passport validity and questionnaires to passengers on what they are carrying to avoid accepting dangerous goods to the aircraft. Apparently on check in process National Handling Services it offers special passenger assistance such as to wheelchair passengers, assistance to an unaccompanied minor, assistance to expecting women and mothers with babies and assistance to first time travellers. This process is carried out through to the boarding gate. All these passengers are given the priority to be boarded first including business class passengers, executive members and passengers with gold and platinum cards.

Special passenger assistance

To wheelchair passengersThis is a special assistance given to passengers with reduced mobility with the aid of wheelchairs. Wheelchair is required by the passenger who cannot walk long distance from the point of check in till one is boarding his or flight. Assistance to an unaccompanied minorAn unaccompanied minor is a child travelling alone. NHS is effective in facilitating their travel prior to their departure. A customer service agent is assigned to escort the minor through the departure route for all exit procedures up to the boarding gate and inform the next station prior to their arrival of the flight.

Assistance to Expecting Women and Mothers with babies

National Handling Services customer service agencies are also responsible for assisting pregnant women and mothers with babies when they request for assistance.

Baggage handling

The sorting, recording, loading and offloading bags for passengers was also on my duties. On loading the baggage, we used the (LIR) loading instruction report to load the baggage of the passengers into the aircraft’s cargo hold. Also on recording the baggage, we used the Bagera machine which indicates the barcode of the identified baggage. This process ranges from baggage check in to offloading of baggage and may reach as far as baggage tracing in case of any loss of baggage. NHS staff should make sure that no dangerous items like daggers, guns and flick knives are declared as cabin baggage instead they should be kept in a deep locker which is out of reach of the passenger while aboard the plane. The baggage handlers collects, sort and check all the bags and load them to the respective aircraft with the reference of the baggage tags, that is to collect and sort checked in baggage. All the checked in baggage is screened before it is loaded so as to ensure safety and the security personnel escort the incoming and outgoing bags, which is also called baggage safety and security.

Lost property

The student was responsible to handle the lost property office; also it is a sensitive office. A system called a World Tracer is used for tracing passenger delayed or missing bag. It is very common that most of the times an aircraft fails to deliver the entire luggage for the passenger it carries. There are some discrepancies that can happen as people check in their bags, at connecting from one flight to another and when disembarking. There are three types of luggage complaints handled by the lost luggage office: Delayed bags (AHL), Bag on hand (OHD), Damage and Pilferage (DPR). If a client cannot find their bags after a flight, they come to the lost and found office to file a report. The office is located in the arrivals area. National Handling Service agent helps passengers to fill reports and deliver luggage to the passengers.

Executive lounge

National Handling Services is a company that is dedicated to offer luxurious lounge facilities to its valued customers were internet facilities are offered and service of refreshment. However, this facility is given to first class and business class passengers or passengers with required cards such as priority pass, diners club, dragon pass and lounge key. If a passenger does not have the required cards above he or she can pay an extra fee of $20 to access if one is an economy passenger. The lounge service is associated with the VIP handlings were the VIP’s are handled in accordance. National Handling Services has two lounges, the one is at domestic side and the one is at international side all are Dzimbahwe Lounges for NHS. Hygiene at lounge is the first priority given to the passengers. Full buffet service of beverages and snacks were, provided to customers together with satellite televisions, internet (Wi-Fi) connection, and conferencing facilities with a serene environment. Passengers can enjoy this service while they are waiting for their flights to start boarding and their friends or relatives. The passengers for Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airline were having a contract with NHS with passengers who are in business class to have access to the lounge. Unfortunately, passengers in business class for South African Airways, British Airways and Air Namibia were not permitted to use the lounge unless if a passenger has an required card to access the lounge. The executive lounge offers admitted passengers the ability to relax in comfort whilst waiting to board the aircraft. The lounge executive provides a wide variety of goods which includes refreshments snacks satellite television newspapers and magazines internet access. NHS personnel are always available in the lounge to help passengers with every request. Not all airlines are admitted in the Dzimbahwe lounge.

Load control

This is when the load controller has the procedures in accordance with the requirements of each airline to ensure each flight production of weight calculation does not exceed the structural limits of the aircraft type. National Handling Services does load control for all aircrafts that tours Victoria Falls International Airport. They give loading instructions and load sheets on how to load the aircraft r some calculations. These vital factors is proper weight and balance which is one of National Handling Services, products provided to international, regional and domestic flights. Refueling is also a factor to be considered when doing load control. The safety of the aircraft lies in the hands of the load controller without this service an aircraft cannot depart any destination. It is done by well trained professionals for a specific aircraft. Also this office is combined together with the activity of ship papers. This also needs one who has speed in processing paper work for General Declarations incoming and outgoing for each airline and the distribution of passenger manifest to the police, defense, ZIMRA, immigration and presidential office all these needs one who is very fast so as to avoid the delays on flights. After dispatching the aircraft we file all copies of both outgoing and incoming load sheet, loading instruction, NOTOC, general declaration, passenger manifest, cargo manifest and the bingo sheet. Then also prepare the same filing to the airline representative office after the aircraft is airborne.

Ramp handling

NHS ensures that the aircraft is stable on the ground before conducting loading and off-loading activities. Monitor aircraft loading and off-loading operations to ensure that the aircraft stability is maintained throughout the loading and off-loading operations and that there is no aircraft movement. It is the role of the ramp staff of NHS being monitored by a ramp supervisor to manage aircraft turnaround time. The aircraft pushback is being done by National Handling Services which is the expertise to tow and pushback, all types of aircraft loading and unloading aircraft they are handled wide and narrow bodied passenger and freighter aircraft. The process of toilet and water services, it involves the drainage of the aircraft lavatories and refilling of toilet water tanks, hence this process is being controlled at ramp by the ramp supervisor. Aircraft push back and towing is a ramp procedure during which an aircraft is pushed backwards away from any airport parking bay.

Aircraft boarding

This is the process whereby checked in passengers are finally getting into the aircraft. Since check in opens earlier, passengers would have been waiting for boarding in the departure lounge and in boarding gates. In the departure lounge passengers of various airlines will be mixed whereas in boarding gates each airline passengers will be on their boarding gates. . An announcement is made before boarding starts, which notifies passengers which aircraft is boarding at which gate and to which destination. The announcement also specifies the flight number. An example of a boarding announcement is as follows: “Good morning ladies and gentlemen. This is a departure call for Air Zimbabwe flight UM467 to Johannesburg. All passengers on this flight kindly have your passports and boarding passes ready for inspection and proceed on board the aircraft through gate number 2.

Cleaning of the aircraft was being done by the student with the help of the flight attendants and aircraft handlers. National Handling Services provides cleaning services to airlines such as South African Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways, Airlink and Air Zimbabwe soon after all passengers have disembarked an aircraft. The cleaning of the aircraft floor, toilets and cabin seats as well as removing of all the rubbish containers of all the empty food containers so as to ensure an odor free environment. Also the cleaning process has to be done quickly and effectively in order for turn around the aircraft within the shortest time frame possible so as to avoid delays. They use the ground handling standards of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as the basis of service delivery. Aircraft loading and offloading National Handling Services offers a service of loading and unloading of cargo as well as passenger baggage. Tugs they are responsible for that, currently in Victoria Falls only South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines carries heavy cargo. It also has a facility of storage where the cargo can be kept before transportation and when the cargo has been received.

15 July 2020

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