ECS Group announced that it has been chosen as the GSA (General Sales Agent) for Air Asia India. The announcement was made at a press round table during the Air Cargo China event in Shanghai. “The market will grow very positively. India is an important market for us and will go through a fundamental change. It is one of the best contributors to our growth,” commented Adrien Thominet, COO of ECS Group. The Group confirmed that it will provide total cargo management solutions to the airline and will further connect it through its network in Singapore and other offices in Asia. The announcement is also a reaffirmation of the ECS Group’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.
Representatives from ECS also spoke in detail about the Group’s expansion plans for the year ahead. CEO Bertrand Schmoll said the Group would continue to build a global network. “We have 58 companies in the Group. The network we have today is quite large with 32 countries. It took us 10 years to arrive where we are today and we now have a great footprint.” ECS Group has realised a turnover of $928 million. “I think next year we will overpass $1 billion,” said Schmoll. He further stressed that the Group is quite focused on providing support to airlines in terms of ‘capital management’. “ We want to be able to provide all services to the airline.” With 80 offices around the world it claims to be the biggest integrated GSA that is keen to retain its local outlook. “At the end of the day, its local service and we have to keep the connection with the forwarder.” At the same time, Schmoll acknowledged that as a GSAs have to adapt their business model as per the needs of the airlines.
Thominet commented that airlines are increasingly looking for total cargo management solutions drawing a thin line between the terms GSA and GSSA. “Will airlines adopt e-freight or wait for GSA, is an important question.” He further added that the hybrid model works well which is a perfect mix of available resources of the airline and support from the GSA in the form of value added services. “The way airlines see GSA is that they bring added value. Airlines are downsizing staff and resources and expecting GSAs to provide more holistic solutions.”
As for the future, ECS Group is busy setting up a team in Singapore and strengthening its Asia network through Vietnam, China and Hong Kong. The Group wants to further develop the LATAM market. “The economy is not at its best but airlines over there need more support,” he added.