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Singapore Airport, Air-India win B'lore deal

Singapore Airport Terminal Services Ltd., the ground-handling unit of Singapore Airlines Ltd., and Air India Ltd. won a contract to handle cargo for Bangalore International Airport Ltd.

Singapore Airport Terminal and Air-India, the nation's biggest overseas carrier, have signed the 20-year agreement to handle freight at the new airport in Bangalore, the Singapore- based company said in a statement filed to the island-city's stock exchange late on May 16. Operations at the airport are expected to start in April 2008.

``This collaboration represents a further extension of the Singapore Airport Terminal footprint in the South Asia market and markets our first cargo handling business in India,'' Ng Chin Hwee, Chief Executive of Singapore Airport Terminal, said in the statement.

Singapore Airport Terminal, which faces increasing competition for ground-handling services at Changi Airport, is expanding through overseas investments. The company and its partner Air India will be tapping cargo volume at the Bangalore airport which is expected to triple in the next 10 to 15 years from the current annual 120,000 tons traffic.

India has been upgrading airport facilities that have been strained by increased international traffic and demand from new domestic carriers. Air cargo traffic in the world's second-most populous country will grow 25 per cent a year, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said on Feb. 20.

Singapore Airport Terminal shares rose 3.6 per cent to S$2.30 in the island city. The stock has fallen 3.4 per cent this year, compared with an 8.6 per cent climb by the key Straits Times Index.



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