Chinese ground handler looks to SE Asia for expansion

Beijing Aviation Ground Services (BGS), the joint venture between Beijing-based Capital Airport Holding (CAH) and Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS), recently expanded its ground handling services in China. Now it is looking at new opportunities in Southeast Asia. Editor Nol van Fenema reports.

CAH, which holds 60 percent in thejoint venture with SATS controllingthe remaining 40 percent, has becomea leading airport group in MainlandChina by taking over several domesticairports.

In line with CAH’s strategy to makeBGS a leading provider of groundhandling services in China, the groundhandler meanwhile has set up facilitiesat airports in Chongqing, Hubei,Guizhou, Tianjin, Jiangxi, Jilin as wellas Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang.

From the start in 1995, the companyhas been providing ground handingservices to foreign and domestic carriers,covering passenger, cargo, ramp,line maintenance as well as ticket salesservices. Its current client base includessome 30 airlines.

BGS director and general manager,Han Wei, says he expects a 400,000tonnes throughput for 2006, up from356,000 tonnes in 2005. He also predictsan average annual growth rate of35 percent, which by 2010 would bringthe throughput to 1,000,000 tonnes.

Although BGS is currently focusedon consolidating operations at the eightairports in China, Han says he is lookingat further international expansion,possibly with an international partner,which he adds, would not necessarilybe his current Singapore joint venturepartner. He stresses though that thelink with SATS is strong and has beenbeneficial for BGS.

The expansion plans come in threestages, explains Han. Firstly, startingthis year, BGS will finalise the set upof its own operations in passenger andcargo handling plus line maintenanceat the eight earlier-mentioned airportsin China.