Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines GSA goes to JKH’s Mack Air

Friday, 31 January 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Mack Air Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of John Keells Holdings PLC will represent Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in Sri Lanka effective 1st February 2014. Mack Air will handle the various aspects of the Air France-KLM passenger sales processes in Sri Lanka, such as reservations, ticketing, sales, marketing and BSP related actions. Mack Air is the airline division of John Keells Holdings (JKH), which has been in the airline representation industry in Sri Lanka and the region since 1980. They are currently one of the largest in terms of airline brand representation within the GSA industry in Sri Lanka. Mack Air takes over the Air France-KLM operations from Carson Cumberbatch PLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carsons Airline Services Ltd. Carsons Airline Services Ltd Chairman Hari Selvanathan said: “Carsons Group’s association with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, National Carrier of the Netherlands prior to the creation of the Air France/KLM Group, goes back to over 50 years, during which period the Company represented the passenger arm of the KLM operations in Sri Lanka. However, Carson Cumberbatch PLC, given its increased emphasis on its core businesses, has now decided to exit from airline operations with the mutual consent of KLM. KLM have chosen the John Keells Group as the successor, with a view to maintaining the excellent track record the Principal had with the Sri Lankan GSA operation for over half a century.” Announcing the re-launch of the GSA under the Mack Air/John Keells Holdings (JKH) banner, Romesh David, President, JKH Transportation Group, said, “We are proud and delighted to welcome Air France-KLM into our portfolio of representations and look forward to developing a long and mutually rewarding association in the years ahead. Air France-KLM, with their far reaching network spread over four continents and offering services to all key commercial and tourist destinations of importance, are uniquely positioned to service the diverse needs of the discerning Sri Lankan traveling public, whilst having the potential to contribute meaningfully towards increasing tourist visitor traffic to Sri Lanka in the years ahead. We are excited at the potential and look forward to the prospect of working closely with Air France-KLM to jointly developing the market here for the two airlines, fully leveraging the considerable synergies generated by other related and complementing businesses within the travel, transportation, leisure and hotel sectors of the JKH Group”. “Carson Cumberbatch PLC has proven to be an outstanding partner to Air France – KLM over the past five decades, supporting us as we moved towards becoming the preferred airline in Sri Lanka and amongst the best worldwide”, said Yeshwant Pawar, General Manager, South Asia, Air France KLM. “We are extremely proud to partner with JKH Transportation Group/ Mack Air, ensuring that our customers and travel agents in the continent enjoy the highest level of access to our full range of content and services. We consider this as a significant move in our future plans to place Air France – KLM in an advantageous position in Sri Lanka’s aviation industry”, added Yeshwant Pawar, General Manager South Asia of Air France KLM. Air France KLM is a major player in the air transport industry. The Group operates the leading long-haul network on departure from Europe. In 2012, Air France KLM carried 77.4 million passengers and 1.4 million tonnes of cargo. The Group’s fleet comprises 573 aircraft. Its network covers 243 destinations in 103 countries from its hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol. The Flying Blue frequent flyer programme is leader in Europe and has over 21 million members. With their partners Delta and Alitalia, Air France and KLM operate the biggest transatlantic joint venture with more than 250 daily flights. Air France and KLM are members of the SkyTeam alliance which has 19 member airlines, offering customers access to a global network of over 15,500 daily flights to 1,000 destinations in 187 countries. The Transportation Group of JKH operates in three strategic business units - Ports & Shipping, Integrated Logistics and Airline & Aviation services and offers an array of transportation and related services in Sri Lanka and the region. Businesses include the operation of Sri Lanka’s first private sector operated container terminal, South Asia Gateway Terminals, in consortium with AP Moller Terminals; Lanka Marine Services, primary supplier of marine bunker fuels and lubricants in Sri Lanka; and joint ventures/associations with leading transportation multinationals such as Maersk Line, DHL (Deutsche Post World Net), American Express, the Keppel Group and MISC, in the areas of Shipping, Air Express, Travel, Supply Chain Management and Third Party Logistics including Warehousing and Haulage. Other businesses include a JV that operates Cinnamon Air, a domestic air taxi service using amphibious and wheeled aircraft and offering scheduled, daily flights between Colombo’s International Airport and key inland locations and International Freight Forwarding and NVOCC Operations in JV with the Norbert Dentressangle Group of France. Mack Air (Pvt) Ltd is the airline representation business of the Transportation Group with a portfolio of global carriers and service providers that now includes Air France - KLM. Over 100 years old, Carson Cumberbatch PLC is the holding company of a diverse group of businesses. The main lines of business are Plantations, Oils & Fats, Beverages, Investment Holdings, Real Estate and the Leisure sector. With operations across the South East Asian region, Carsons sustains its expansion through strategic international alliances.