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Celebi Holdings to invest $100 m in ground handling biz

Debabrata Das

Recently in Istanbul (Turkey)

Turkish business group Celebi Holdings plans to invest $100 million in its airport ground handling business in India over the next five years.

The company, which currently does ground handling work at Delhi and Mumbai airports, is bullish on the Indian market and is looking to expand its business here.

A majority of the planned $100-million investment will go towards acquiring new equipment, Celebi's officials said.

The ground handler has already invested $30.2 million in India till the end of 2010. The volume of investment over the next two-three years is likely to be around $30 million. It employs more than 2,000 people in India and in the next couple of years is likely to hire another 500-700 employees.

According to Ms Canan Celebioglu Tokgoz, Vice-Chairperson, Celebi Holding, “The Indian aviation market is growing. Most of the carriers are expanding their fleet and increasing international flights. We would soon look to extend our services to domestic airports also where we do not have a presence currently.”

Focus on metros

The priority for the company would be to have a presence in the metro cities as they cater to both domestic and international flights, she added.

In India, Celebi provides ground handling services for close to 25,000 flights annually, a majority of them in Mumbai.

According to Mr Atilla Korkmazoglu, President Ground Handling (Far East) and Business Development, Celebi Holding, the company is in talks with two more international airlines to provide ground handling services at Delhi airport.

Air India, Turkish Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa and Kingfisher Airlines are some of the company's major clients.

Ground Handling Policy

Celebi also hopes that the new ground handling policy in India gets cleared soon, a move which will pave the way to scout for new business.

The ground handling policy restricts airlines to carry out certain aspects of ground handling forcing them to acquire services of designated ground handlers like Celebi.

Most airlines in India self handle their flights as it turns out to be a cheaper option.

But according to Mr Korkmazoglu, the perception that airlines would have to spend more if they outsource ground handling is wrong.

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