ECS Group, the world’s largest air cargo general sales and service agency, has opened its first offices in India, supporting its 2011/2012 global expansion strategy.

Branches in Mumbai and Delhi are now operational and ECS expects to open further outstations in India as its business grows. To oversee the Group’s development in India, Mark Pulling has taken on the additional role of Regional Director, Middle East and Indian Sub-continent.

The South Asia market represents some 5% of the global air cargo market in tonnage terms and India represents its most thriving market. Air Cargo business in India has overtaken ocean freight and rail freight in terms of growth, increasing by nearly 19% in the last three years as against 10.3% growth registered by ocean freight and 9.2% by rail.

Mark Pulling said: “India is a thriving and dynamic market. It has a huge population and consumer base and a highly skilled workforce. It is also a strong player in the hi-tech and pharmaceutical industries that produce prime air cargo traffic. We are making this investment in India partly in response to the requirements of our existing airline customer base and also because of the rapid expansion that is being projected for the market.

“India's air cargo industry is expected to double its growth in the current fiscal year on the back of increased demand and trade momentum. We expect to gain a strong market share for the airlines we represent and to also gain new contracts from carriers that already work with us in other markets. Most airlines that don’t already fly to India want to do so due to its booming economy and we see great potential for a global GSSA in the market that combines local expertise with a proven worldwide capability and infrastructure.”

ECS Group has appointed Rajendra Dubey as Country Manager, India. The company’s launch customers include airlines with global GSSA agreements with ECS, including Ukraine International Airlines, Brussels Airlines, and Camair. 

Already present at 47 locations in 30 countries, ECS Group is actively growing its global network outside of its European stronghold. In 2011, in addition to India, it has opened ECS offices in Hong Kong and Singapore and it also plans to establish a presence in China by the end of the year. In 2012, it plans to open in South America – Brazil and Argentina – and increase its footprint in west and central Africa.

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