Expolanka looks to Africa

Hong Kong, Dubai, Frankfurt, andMiami might be the typical itineraryof an air cargo executive, but HanifYusoof’s travel plans reveal the verydifferent focus of his company. As president of Sri Lankan-basedconglomerate, Expolanka Group, heplans to visit Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Benin,Togo, Liberia, Gambia and the Sudanduring 2007. And while the ExpolankaGroup has a range of activities bothinside […]


Hong Kong, Dubai, Frankfurt, andMiami might be the typical itineraryof an air cargo executive, but HanifYusoof’s travel plans reveal the verydifferent focus of his company.

As president of Sri Lankan-basedconglomerate, Expolanka Group, heplans to visit Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Benin,Togo, Liberia, Gambia and the Sudanduring 2007. And while the ExpolankaGroup has a range of activities bothinside transport and outside it, buildingup the cargo GSA business will be a keyfocus on these trips.

Expolanka has come a long way asa GSA since it expanded outside theboundaries of Sri Lanka in 1996. Thecompany now represents airlines inIndia, Bangladesh, Dubai and SouthAfrica, and in January this year addedTanzania to that roster.

The GSA is representing QatarAirways in that country, and also plansto add Nairobi (where it already has anoffice) once Virgin Atlantic starts flightsthere. The company already representsVirgin Cargo in Sri Lanka, Bangladeshand Dubai.

In 2006, it also opened logisticsoperations in Uganda, Ghana andRwanda, and Yusoof reckons allthese places, along with the WestAfrica locations he plans to visit, have definite GSA potential. "We like to gointo countries other companies findchallenging," he says. "It is a policy that has worked well for us, and with major airlines from the Middle East and Asia now flying into Africa, there is a possibility for us to represent them."