There was a time when airline companies were handling every aspect of their business in-house — handling their luggage, cargo, passenger services, cabin grooming and similar services all on their own, but now, as many of them have grown and the industry has developed, it is easier and more efficient for them to outsource these tasks. This is where Tony Hogdahl and Aviation Port Services come in.

The founder of Aviation Port Services, Tony Hogdahl, is originally from Helsingborg, Sweden. He has taken quite a journey these last couple years. After living in Hawaii and working in the airline industry, Tony moved to San Francisco, and in 2007 he started his own business, Aviation Port Services. Although he had experience in the industry and was sure he would be successful, Tony is still surprised by how fast the business has grown over the last five years. Since it began, the company has grown to over 500 employees and 12 locations of operation. Aviation Port Services handles the world’s aircrafts, passengers and cargo.
The airlines they serve and services they offer differ at each airport. Currently, their biggest operation is in Oakland handling aircraft grooming, cargo, ground security, lav/water service, ramp handling, pax/baggage screening, special needs and representation. Among their clients are names such as AeroMexico, ArkeFly, SATA, Virgin, Air Asia and Volaris.
When I ask Tony if he would consider operating in Sweden, he tells me a lot is different in the Swedish market—they have a different way of operating—but it is something that would interest him.
The employees of Aviation Port Services must go through a lot of airport security training, which is perfectly aligned with the company’s strategy: "To be the best at providing safe, secure and efficient handling of the world’s aircraft and passengers." Tony gives his employees credit for working independently and for being the best at what they do, something that's very important for a company's success.
It appears Aviation Port Services will keep expanding throughout the U.S., and Tony, who has gone from being an employee at someone else’s company to being self-employed at a high-growth company, keeps working to keep his company successful.

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By Cecilia Nylander
www.sacc-sf.org

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