ECS puts boots on the ground in Latin America

When ECS moves into a new market as a GSA, it likes to do so properly. “Our philosophy is to be a real organisation, something we can show off to the airline, and not just put in one guy so we can have another flag on the map,” says CEO Bertrand Schmoll.
“We are at nine locations in India, for example. We’ve won new business there, including Saudi Airlines Cargo and AirAsia.”
While Asia is a long-term project for ECS, its more immediate focus is on Latin America. The group has an existing operation in Colombia but has now entered the Brazil market, and also opened in Mexico in September.
Mexico leverages off ECS’ business in Europe, where it represents Qatar Airways in four countries as well as Aeromexico, which flies into Madrid, Paris and London. QR operates two 777 services per week between Mexico City, the US (once through Atlanta, once through Houston), Luxembourg and Doha.
“In Brazil, high labour costs are a problem and there are good opportunities for GSAs as airlines outsource,” says Schmoll. ECS is well placed to exploit the increasing links between Brazil and Africa, thanks to its longstanding relationship with Brussels Airlines on its African services.
“There are good connections between Brazil and Angola, and Royal Air Maroc flies from Sao Paulo to Morocco,” explains Adrien Thominet, chief operating officer at ECS.
Thominet is also “very positive” about the US market after picking up the Philippine Airlines contract there. “This develops the US west coast for us. We can expand in Los Angeles on the back it,” Thominet says. PAL flies twice a day to LA and once to San Francisco.
Saudi Airlines has meanwhile added LA as a third US destination in addition to Washington and New York.

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