ECS Group, the world’s largest GSSA organization, says China will be the next addition to its fast-growing network of international locations.
In the last 18 months, Paris-based ECS has opened offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmadabad in India and expects to add a fourth location in Chennai by the end of 2012. It has also established a presence in Vietnam, Hong Kong and Niger. ECS President, Bertrand Schmoll, says China is the next target for the company along with further offices in Vietnam.
“The ECS strategy is not to open an office in a new market just to be able to say we’re there and add another flag on our network map. We make an investment when we see the opportunity to build a real ECS office with a reasonable level of business activity and to provide the level of services that enables us to gain a foothold in the market,” he said.
Schmoll added: “We are living in a world of uncertainty and going into 2012 everyone was concerned about what would happen to business levels. In fact or ECS, 2012 has been a stable year on a par with our record performance achieved in 2011 and we do not expect to see big changes during the rest of the year. We have probably outperformed the market for the airlines we represent.”
The Group’s sustained performance levels in 2012 have been supported by new contracts in nearly every country in the ECS network, he says, adding: “We have won a large number of new contracts. What is important is that airlines continue to outsource their air cargo sales activities and that we are recognised by them for the quality of our service and sales performance.
“We want to have a worldwide coverage and therefore we will continue to develop geographically, either through acquisition or by opening our own offices. We plan to continue our expansion in Asia in China and Indochina. China is a big project for us because you cannot simply be in Beijing and Shanghai. The country is opening many new airports and its manufacturing is moving to the west of the country.”
ECS Group’s investment in a new cargo airline, Niger Air Cargo, is going well, he said, and it plans to develop Niamey as a hub airport. More airport hubs are also possible in Africa with airline partners, Schmoll said.