be having a tough year, but that hasn’t stopped or
even slowed down high-flying ATC Aviation from expanding
its operations—both in Asia, and (as expected to be
announced later this year, perhaps at TIACA early next month),
elsewhere as well.
Much of the credit for the
continued surge in ATC’s fortunes can be placed squarely
on the energetic and ambitious company CEO, Ingo Zimmer,
who has become a familiar face and resource GSA for the
global air cargo industry.
No doubt also playing into
ATC success are the many airline companies that have chosen—in
an increasingly competitive air cargo business—to
stick to flight whilst leaving various aspects of their
business on the ground to others.
But with so many choices,
ATC has become both a GSSA niche player that is expanding
globally by leaps and bounds, offering an impressive client
base a wide range of custom services, driven by a special
style of customer relations.
“Although the move is
definitely to outsource sales and marketing, our customers
demand a seamless experience for their clients, so we must
always be totally committed to delivering the very best
quality product,” Mr. Zimmer declared.
“Right now, with business
challenged all over, how we do our job is even more important,
as everyone knows.
“Despite gains everywhere
else, we recently said goodbye to Asiana Germany, which
was a very good customer, as they decided to do their own
“However our business
keeps on growing as others have joined ATC, and we continue
“Right now we are in
an acquisition mode with eyes on America and Asia as we
expect to be making some further announcements as 2012 continues.
“Very safe to say that
on balance our business is good; we are a strong company
that will grow exponentially in the months and years ahead,”
Ingo Zimmer said.
Although it has been in business
for more than 40 years, when ATC Aviation Services Ltd.
stepped up as general sales and services agent (GSSA) managing
all aspects of Etihad Cargo’s sales and service delivery
in Germany just four years ago, the company displayed a
kind of savvy that propelled it right along with the runaway
success enjoyed by EY.
You play the big game, you
win the big prize, and for ATC there has been no looking
At 6’ 5” inches
tall, Ingo Zimmer stands out in any crowd. He is able, despite
all his business responsibilities, to nonetheless stay relaxed
and well grounded, and manages success in both personal
and business endeavors.
He enjoys family, sports,
and vacation time, and was proud to speak of his youngsters
beginning their year in school.
Ingo, it turns out, couples
intelligence and matinee good looks with a genuine, down-to-earth,
nice guy demeanor and a willingness to listen.
He is one former freight forwarder
who has figured out how to score big as a GSSA in the 21st
ATC’s roots date back to the early seventies, when
ATC Air Transport Consultants Ltd. was established in Switzerland
as a charter broker.
By the 1980s, ATC had gained
a solid reputation as a pioneer in the field of cargo GSA
for scheduled carriers, a concept which was then introduced
successfully in other European countries, and as the first
GSA organization to provide coverage with dedicated offices
across several European countries.
During the mid-1990s, the
company was taken over by key management, and ATC Aviation
Services Ltd. was born.
New strategies were introduced
based on the corporate slogan: ATC Always Takes Care.
In 2004, ATC Aviation Services
Ltd became a member of the “World Freight Company”
Group, a holding owned by 3i and AXA Private Equity.
For the past two-dozen years,
while Ingo is on board, the company has represented (in
addition to Etihad) Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Ethiopian
Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Turkish Airlines, All Nippon Airlines,
United Airlines, Eyptair and others.
“All the airlines that
we work for in my district are equal—everybody gets
the golden touch at ATC,” Ingo said.
“The key ingredient
of our organization here is to never forget that this is
a highly personal business that never lets the customer
forget how important he or she is regarded.
“We also make it a point
to handle specialized markets like Africa and The Middle
East, East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (and soon
to come in the Americas) better than anyone else.
“When I began in this
business, our clients were mostly airlines people knew little
“Today in the global
village, where every bit of information can be in your handheld,
the smart money sticks to core business and leaves air cargo
to professionals like ATC.
“In other words, the
GSSA market has widened to include just about everybody
and that has sharpened our need and also ability to be better
at everything we do.
“Of course, there are
“However, the reason
we have grown—in addition to our great team—is
that ATC has the financial power to deliver a first-class
product in our role as an airline cargo organization—both
in good times and in a global market such as this one right