This year has been challenging for the air cargo industry, but Turkey has been performing better than the worldwide market, says Nursel Guven.
The managing director of Globe Air Cargo Turkey tells Air Cargo Week that the available data shows a decrease in tonnage, but revenue is increasing. She says worldwide tonnage and revenue was down 5.5% between January and August 2019 compared to 2018, but in Turkey, tonnage fell 2.6% and revenue increased 7.7%.
Describing 2019 as “pretty good” for Globe Air Cargo, she says TUI Cargo and Condor welcomed as ECS Group TCM, and WestJet, EgyptAir and IndiGo came on board.
“This has brought us a vibe and excitement for 2019,” Guven comments.
This follows on from 2017-18, which Guven says was a period of cultivation, where the existing customer base boomed and Globe Air Cargo focused on sustainable development in 2019.
Guven says: “Through very concrete vision, careful analysis, detailed strategies and flawless execution – we secured the position on IATA’s top 10 for one of our customers, whilst increasing our tonnage around 70% with the increase for existing customers and new contracts.”
A major development for the Turkish aviation industry is the opening of the new airport in Istanbul.
Guven says it has been a smooth transition, despite industry pessimism after the move from Ataturk airport was delayed twice.
The move has largely been a success, Guven says: “After the move, during the operational environment, there were some minor problems of course: mainly resulting from adjustment periods of customs and handling agents, which has been solved immediately by airport authority IGA and officials.”
Globe Air Cargo joined ECS Group in 2015, and having the backing of such a big player has been good for both parties.
Guven is very proud of the team, saying their hard work and professionalism makes them true local heroes.
She says: “If something is challenging, we are the ones who are called. And we owe this to our team, whom made this possible through absolute customer focus, attention and will to help people tirelessly.”
Customers in Turkey are offered all the services provided by ECS Group, especially GSSA services covering sales, marketing and operations, as well as booking, capacity planning, palletising, ULD control, aircraft loading, accounting and collection through CASS and non-CASS channels.
Guven says: “What is important is that behind those services, we developed at the group level, a full range of professional tools to improve our offer.”
Services developed at a group level are being offered to customers such as Apollo, the in-house business intelligence tool with features including customised commercial planning and revenue optimisation.
The Pathfinder Track & Trace system gives customers a real-time view of the status of their shipment.
Guven says: “In Turkey, (as well as in every subsidiary of ECS Group) people are fully expert of their market and thanks to that can deliver custom-made solutions. The strong worldwide network of ECS Group and its high-level digitalisation support the day to day work of each employees.”
Companies must always look to the future and consider how they will expand.
For Sauro Martinelli, regional manager Europe for ECS Group says an office in Izmir would be good, to serve the Aegean and Mediterranean region.
The mid and long-term strategy is to help the represented airlines develop by increasing their revenue and develop ECS’s airline portfolio.
To do this, Martinelli says being a traditional GSSA is not enough anymore, ECS must offer more.
He says: “That is why we put a lot of effort in understanding our customers’ needs and capabilities, and cultivate long-term strategic solutions to increase capacity and production, ensuring a sustainable development and presence in the market.”
Customers demand greater digital services. Martinelli says: “This is also why it has been developed, at the ECS Group level, digital tools that are unique for a GSSA to better serve our airline clients on a business focus. As we have already said, ECS Group is no longer simply a GSSA.”
As a country, Turkey’s air cargo market should be able to reach new heights. The road and sea fright sectors are highly developed and its geographic location makes Turkey an important transport hub.
Airfreight’s growth was limited by a lack of airport capacity but this should no longer be a problem.
Guven says: “With the new Istanbul Airport and its ambitious capacity – airfreight is on its way to having a dominant position in global logistics market.”
There are many opportunities in Turkey due to its location at the crossroad of Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and the investment in infrastructure.
Guven points out that you cannot just wait for opportunities, you need to create them, and innovation is the keyword.
She says: “Thanks to ECS Group investments in digitalisation, GAC TR can provide digital solutions and tools to support the business development and match airlines’ needs in digitalisation. ECS Group has also innovated and invested in terms of tailor-made services and especially in TCM service to provide total and complete management of all cargo activities. Thus, GAC TR can also manage TCM contracts, which is a real added-value.”