ECS Group ramps up focus on Asia and LATAM

It was a good year last year for the Paris-headquartered general sales and service agent (GSSA), ECS Group. With an extensive, well-established network across Europe which also provides good coverage of the African growth markets and well on its way to fulfilling its next two strategic focuses – Asia and Latin America – the fact the group as a whole, broached the US$1 billion turnover mark last year, is surely more than just icing on the cake. By B. Collamat.

ECS Group ramps up focus on Asia and LATAM

Despite the lingering air cargo lethargy, the ECS Group saw its volume of aircargo dealt with on behalf of its growing list of clients rise from 585,000 tonnes in 2013 to over 700,000 tonnes last year. These include key airlines such as Brussels Airlines Cargo, ANA Cargo, China Southern Cargo, Turkish Airlines Cargo alongside quite a raft of other carriers – including recent contract wins with Saudi Cargo, AirAsia India, Philippines Airlines (US West Coast sales), Royal Air Maroc and a bit further back, a total cargo management contract with Tigerair out of Singapore bringing the slate of carriers up to about 32 at present.

The current strategic focus according to CEO Bertrand Schmoll will be on Asia and South America and Schmoll points to India as a prime example of how the group prefers to expand. “We consider Europe a mature market and we have the best network in Europe. We want to continue to expand in South America and Asia. In Asia we are very successful in India,” he says of the operations there that were established in 2012 and now have more than one 100 employees.

India all set

The win in H2 last year of AirAsia India business, with ECS Group member Globe Air Cargo India being appointed GSSA, saw the Bangalore Kempegowda International Airport-based, low cost carrier beginning flights initially serving Chennai, Goa and Cochin via three A320- 200 aircraft. With plans to expand its flight schedule rapidly across India, with the expectation of operating six to eight aircraft by mid-2015, at least 25 aircraft by end of 2016 and expanding to 36 aircraft within five years, the potential for the ECS Group is substantial.