HAE to grow GSSA offer in South Africa

A key factor in UK-based HAE’s takeover of neutral consolidator Groupair in Johannesburg will be the introduction of the new owner’s GSSA services into South Africa.
Peter Kerins, vice president at air cargo industry services provider HAE, told Air Cargo News: “Groupair has been established for over two decades, with a superb customer focus and work ethic that mirrors the HAE Group globally. 
“We believe its unique neutral wholesaler activity is the perfect fit for HAE’s diverse business divisions. One key element will be the introduction of the HAE GSSA services into South Africa via Groupair, which is still the cornerstone of our group’s success over the past 18 years.”
He added that Groupair has a “superb and loyal freight forwarding customer base,” adding: “So why would we not look at introducing our signature GSSA offering into Johannesburg (JNB). 
“We have the customer base, we have the knowledge and we have the experience. For airlines it gives a certain comfort level knowing there is a proven global organisation behind the local company.”
HAE has significant long standing interests in West and East Africa, and finding a company with the same business model and customer service focus was essential, said Kerins, if HAE is to continue growing in Africa.
Groupair is described as a “compact operation” located in the heart of the JNB freight forwarder community in the Kempton Park area, close to the O.R. Tambo International Airport complex. 
Kerins added that, with more than 12 staff, the acquisition gives HAE group and Groupair “an ideal opportunity to expand not only in the JNB market, but also into other key locations in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa”. 
He continued: “Groupair, similar to HAE Group’s solutions division, provides services by land and air cross-border into many countries in the southern tip of Africa.”
Groupair will retain its name, said Kerins, adding: “We foresee that Groupair will continue to trade under its own identity while it will be known that Groupair is part of the HAE group. 
“It’s an approach we have taken with many acquisitions in the past, with great success, such as Air Liaison (GSSA) in the UK and our TSA training companies based in the UK and UAE. 
“The development of Groupair will be guided by the local markets, and through the seven divisions that HAE operate, we will customise the service offerings from our group that will be relevant for each market.”
Kerins, based in Dubai, said: “Given that Groupair are the experts in the local market, the first thing for both entities is to seek opportunities between our respective offices in and out of South Africa from such HAE Group locations such as Asia, North/South America, the Middle East and Europe.”
HAE has not disclosed financial details of the takeover.

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