KARACHI: A Dubai-based joint venture in the aviation industry, which handles cargo and luggage for some 12 international airlines at Pakistan’s airports, is investing $18 million to double its working capacity by December 2017.
“We have placed Pakistan’s biggest order for ground service equipment worth $7 million and are investing another $11 million to double storage capacity of our warehouse at Karachi airport,” Gerry’s dnata Vice President Pakistan Syed Haris Raza told The Express Tribune.
“The investment in equipment, building and infrastructure is being done keeping in view the growth in Pakistan’s economy and its aviation industry. Our investment is our trust in Pakistan’s economy,” he said.
The aviation industry roughly handles 10% of the total cargo that moves the sea route. “The share of aviation industry in the total cargo handing stands somewhere around 0.5 million tons per annum,” he estimated.
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The share in terms of volume and tonnage is going to multiply as much is happening on the economic front, especially pertaining to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Raza said the ground service equipment would arrive in Pakistan in the next five to six months from different countries including France, Belgium, the UK, Canada, Dubai and China.
“Investment for expansion at the Karachi warehouse will double its storage capacity from the current 120,000 tons per year,” Raza said, adding the expanded warehouse would start running by the last quarter of 2017.
The investment initiatives were undertaken after the Saudi Arabian Airlines outsourced its ground handling services to Gerry’s dnata.
The airline operates over 40 flights a week to and from Pakistan.
Other players in ground-handling services in Pakistan’s aviation industry include Pakistan International Airlines, Airblue, Shaheen International Airlines and Air Indus.
The Dubai-based joint venture provides cargo handling services to international airlines such as Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Fly Dubai and DHL at seven airports of Pakistan.
Raza said with the addition of three new airports – Multan, Faisalabad and Quetta – last year it is providing the services at seven airports across the country.
At present, the company is preparing a feasibility report to expand its services to Rahim Yar Khan and Gwadar airports. “Some airlines have asked us for the feasibility report for the two airports. Later on, they may also do the same themselves,” he said.
Gerry’s dnata is not aiming to become the biggest services provider in the industry. “We want to be the most admired ground services provider across the globe,” he remarked.
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However, the company claims to have a 60% market share in handling cargo to and from international destinations.
The growth in the industry can be gauged from the fact that the company had only 1,100 people in the workforce last year that would surge to 1,800 by next year.
He said a major key to success in efficiently handling the cargo on ground was the hiring of trained and skilled labour from technical institutions. “We hire our workforce from Amantech, NED University, IBA and LUMS,” he said.
Courtesy : Express Tribune