Grounded in India

Celebi expands to its fifth airport in India, leaving its competitor­s behind


Celebi Holding, the largest Turkish investor in India, is preparing to expand its ground services to a fifth airport in the country. Celebi will add Konnur, in Karnataka State, to its existing services in Mumbai, New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Kochi.

Founded 60 years ago, Celebi Holding will celebrate the 10th anniversar­y of its investment­s in India next year. Of its 12,000 employees at 36 airports in 5 countries around the world, 7,000 are located in India. Konnur Airport, slated to open at the end of this year, will grow Celebi’s investment footprint in India, which already sits at $165 million over the past decade, making it the largest Turkish investor in India.

Celebi’s crown jewel in the Indian market, however, remains Mumbai, where the company dominates with 67 percent market share and employing 1,300 people, despite being only one of three players at the airport. Celebi is also in the process of launching services at Mumbai airport’s new terminal, designed by the architects of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, including the air conditioni­ng and electricit­y services of the jet bridges at the 35-bridge facility.

Connect ng Ind a to the Gulf

Celebi is also the only company in Mumbai serving wealthy Indians traveling by private jet, coorespond­ing to 4,500 flights per year. India’s largest metropolis is home to some of the world’s richest people including the Tata family.

Meanwhile, in New Delhi, Celebi Holding ranks second, with 28 percent market share. Its Ahmedabad operation is expected to expand as investment­s are made in the hometown of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In Kochi, part of India’s southern gateway to the Gulf States, traffic is expected to increase as more Indian workers go to the United Arab Emirates and especially to Qatar. As the labor market develops in Gulf countries, the volume of this airport also increases, something that will also benefit the Konnur Airport once it is operationa­l.

Reap ng the benef ts of ts bus ness model

As new aviation regulation­s come into force in India, eliminatin­g subcontrac­tors, Celebi is positioned to benefit from the increasing cost burden on its competitor­s. Celebi is expected to increase its market share because it does not use subcontrac­tors, limiting the effects of the regulatory changes on its business model. In addition, as more of India’s airports are privatized, Celebi stands to gain from its global reach. Most of its competitor­s are local and thus limited in their ability to offer comprehens­ive tenders. Indian government officials have already received written opinions from existing companies, before the privatizat­ions go out to tender. Celebi is among the companies whose views have been taken into considerat­ion. However, it is not clear on which conditions and when these privatizat­ions will be made.

E-commerce to boost Celeb cargo

Celebi has also impacted the image of the airports where it operates with its corporate building designs, uniformed workers and stateof-the-art equipment, including its Delhi Cargo operation, where it won a 25-year tender in 2009. With a 72 percent market share, the company handled 522,000 tonnes of cargo last year, using 50 percent of its capacity. The target is 700,000 tonnes for this year. E-commerce volume is also expected to increase as Indian authoritie­s move to allow Alibaba and Amazon to operate in India, which will help grow the cargo sector.

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