ECS Group has won a cargo GSA contract in Switzerland from China's Hainan Airlines, further extending the fast-growing business partnership between the two companies in Europe. The agreement was announced at the Air Cargo Europe event taking place in Munich.
ECS, the world's largest GSSA organisation, is now representing Hainan Airlines in Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland to support its flights from Brussels, Berlin, Budapest and Zurich as well as at other ECS offices across Europe.
Hainan commences flights between Beijing and Zurich on May 31st 2011 and will operate three flights a week on the route using an Airbus A330 passenger aircraft. The Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday departures from Switzerland will offer some 18 tonnes of cargo capacity.
Adrien Thominet, ECS Group's Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, said: "Hainan Airlines is a very important customer of ECS and serves one of the world's most important and fastest-growing air cargo markets. By choosing ECS as its partner, Hainan knows we have the network and contacts to match its expansion in Europe and to ensure it becomes quickly established in new markets where ECS is already present. We see a long and successful business partnership with the airline."
In Switzerland, Hainan's cargo capacity will be marketed by Globe Air Cargo, a wholly-owned affiliate of ECS Group.
Hainan Province is the largest special economic zone in China and ECS expects to generate regular flows of cargoes such as pharmaceuticals, automotive parts and electronic goods from freight forwarding partners throughout Europe.
The Chinese airline has seen considerable growth since its launch in 1993. In addition to its main station in Haikou, Hainan Airlines has established 8 airline bases in Beijing, Xi'an, Taiyuan, Urumqi, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, Dalian and Shenzhen, as well as an extensive network across China. It connects Asia, Europe, America and Africa with nearly 500 domestic and international routes flying to more than 90 cities.
Already the world's largest GSSA organization, ECS plans to extend its office network in Hong Kong, Vietnam, China, India and Africa during the course of 2011. Its network already incorporates 43 subsidiaries in 30 countries. In total, the group generates 487,000 tonnes of air cargo a year for over 110 airline customers and reports an annual turnover of US$600 million.