GSA Belgium: ready for new take-offs


For Benelux sales agent Gina Vandenhove, the launch of Finnair’s new Brussels freighter hub promises to take “busy” to a whole new level.

After a gulp of coffee and a quick email check, the mayhem begins for Gina Vandenhove.  As Belgian country manager of ATC Aviation Services, her job is a race against the clock.

"Today is never the same as yesterday. In addition to a busy schedule of meetings, we often deal with challenging or surprising situations and demands. But we spare no effort to offer our customers exactly what they request," says Vandenhove, who heads a team of three serving eight airlines.

The pace will only intensify due to the April opening of Finnair’s new freighter hub in Brussels, a big step greeted by Vandenhove as "an exciting challenge".

Bridges in the sky

And she wouldn’t have it other way. With 23 years’ experience in the airline industry, three at ATC Aviation, she cannot conceal her passion for air cargo.

"It brings the world closer to us – and us closer to the world. It still feels good to see an iron bird disappearing in the sky on its way to deliver orders, keep production lines going, and save lives,” says Vandenhove.

"Save lives" is no exaggeration. Brussels is profiling itself as the Continental epicentre of the pharmaceutical industry, opening up major new growth routes for both ATC Aviation and Finnair. Other key products shipped to and from Brussels by Finnair include medical goods, chocolate and steel.

All in the family

"The concentration of the pharmaceutical sector is set to increase cargo volumes shipped through Brussels. Until now, we didn’t have enough capacity to serve the US, but this will change with the opening of the new freighter hub," she explains.

Based on three years of collaboration, she looks forward to deepening ATC Aviation’s close bond with Finnair.

"They prove that quality and flexibility can go together. They give every partner the feeling of belonging to the family. When we speak for Finnair, we forget to be a GSA but become Finnair," she says.  

"Thanks to their courage and unique service quality, I fully believe Finnair will become a Top 5 cargo carrier between Europe and Northeast Asia. We very much look forward to supporting their success," she adds.

A taste of the good life

The very mention of "free time" pushes guilt buttons for Vandenhoven. "I have a beautiful daughter who complains about my time issues. She adores flying and makes me sign a contract each Christmas to take her on holiday. During my days off, you will find us two ladies at a movie theatre or just enjoying a day out shopping and relaxing."

A visit to Brussels is de rigueur for any self-respecting bon vivant, says Vandenhove. Belgians make no secret of their love of the good life, which is evident in the country’s great diversity of excellent beers.

"By recent count, there are about 1,150 original Belgian beers. Every visitor should taste at least a couple. And the chocolates, waffles and of course the mussels are definitely not to be missed."

For more travel tips:

Text by Silja Kudel

Published February 7, 2013

Category: Collaboration