Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Celebi Invests In Eco-Friendly Ground-Handling Systems In India

Aviation Daily Feb 02 , 2011 , p. 16
Neelam Mathews

With new regulations expected to be introduced soon in India pertaining to its ground-handling infrastructure, Turkish company Celebi Holdings has started investing in standardized equipment at New Delhi and Mumbai airports.

Instead of using fuel-inefficient farm tractors, Celebi has introduced electrical baggage tractors costing $60,000 that conform to strict Indian law requiring environmentally friendly equipment.

Celebi’s six German Cobum buses in Mumbai and Delhi, costing $20,000 each, carry 110 passengers and can be used only at airports since they have a low step to aid alighting passengers carrying hand baggage.

Celebi is also the only ground-handling company at Delhi airport that can handle the Airbus A380, for which it has imported equipment worth about $2 million to move baggage and cargo and push-back equipment, says Can Celebioglu, chairman of Celebi Holdings.

Lufthansa recently asked the Ministry of Civil Aviation for permission to fly the A380 to Delhi, but it is not clear when the bilateral talks will be held. Lufthansa will receive its eighth A380 by May.

Celebi serves Turkey’s 25 airports, covering 99.6% of passenger traffic in the country, and also has a ground-handling services contract for Budapest Ferihegy International Airport in Hungary. Since January 2010, CelebiNAS, a joint venture with Mumbai NAS India, the has been serving 16 airlines with a market share of 30% at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

With a license to start ground-handling in Warsaw, Celebi is in talks with the civil aviation authority for clearance. The company is also in discussions with Brussels Airport.

Kingfisher Airlines is the only domestic carrier client of Celebi. “Soon airlines will see the logic of outsourcing, and low-cost airlines, such as IndiGo, looking at reducing costs will drive the sector,” says Celebioglu. With Mumbai’s second new airport at Navi Mumbai now announced, Celebi expects to participate in that project as well.

Infrastructure investments planned at the Delhi airport are expected to increase passenger service numbers to 37 million a year by 2012. Celebi says it will be serving about half of all of the international flight traffic moving in and out of Delhi and Mumbai and is looking at opportunities to enter an airport in South India.

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