SIA's SATS expands in Tianjin through JV cargo handler

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Airport services company Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) has acquired a minority stake in a new joint-venture cargo handling operation at Tianjin Airport, near the Chinese capital Beijing.

Singapore Airlines subsidiary SATS says in a statement to the Singapore stock exchange that the joint venture company has been named Tianjin Airport Cargo Services (TACS). SATS will have an indirect stake through its 40% shareholding in Beijing Aviation Ground Services (BGS).

BGS has the biggest single stake in TACS, of 46%. Tianjin Binhai International Airport Co has 44% and Tianjin Wan Shi Long International Logistics has 10%. The joint venture partners are providing a combined initial investment of 50 million yuan ($6 million), says SATS.

“TACS will provide cargo handling, aircraft ramp services, cargo agency services and other air transport-related services at Tianjin Airport,” it says, adding that the airport is the 15th busiest cargo airport in China.

“BGS, which presently has cargo and ground handling operations at Beijing Capital International Airport, will participate in the management and operations of TACS, provide TACS with training support, and assist TACS to plan and develop a cargo terminal and related cargo handling facilities at Tianjin Airport.”

SATS has ground handling and catering operations at Singapore’s Changi airport and many other airports in the Asia-Pacific region. With TACS it now has interests in 16 ventures outside Singapore at 24 airports. At Tianjin Airport it already has an in-flight catering joint venture, Tianjin Airport Kitchen, through associated company Beijing Airport Inflight Kitchen.

“Tianjin is one of the key air cargo hubs in northern China and is expected to benefit strongly from the strong economic growth in the region,” says SATS president and CEO Ng Chin Hwee.

“We envisage further growth through our existing overseas investments and the establishment of new joint ventures.”