National Aviation Services (NAS), a Kuwait-based aviation services firm, has earmarked some $50 million investments for Africa over the next three years, Hassan El-Houry, the Group chief executive officer has said.
El-Houry revealed this at the fourth Ground Handling International Stakeholders’ Conference taking place in Kigali.
NAS is arguably the largest ground handling company in Sub-Saharan Africa with operations in more than ten countries. The company’s portfolio of services involve airport lounge management, warehouse facilities at airports and airport technologies provision, among other
The decision to invest $50 million in Africa, the executive said, is commercially driven. This reflects the opportunities NAS has always said lie within Africa’s growing aviation sector.
“We are investing both in existing operations as well as new operations. We are seeing more potential in emerging markets and we are committed,” he noted.
Rwanda is among other African countries where the firm operates. It manages Kigali International Airport’s business class lounge. Rwanda was NAS’s launchpad into Sub-Saharan Africa.
“It was around 2011 that we said we want to look at Africa. We had targets for the 54 countries but we wanted to start somewhere. We asked ourselves if we should start in South Africa, Nigeria or Egypt. After studies, we said we are going to start in Rwanda,” El-Houry said.
In Rwanda, the company is building and developing two more airport lounges. The new investment commitment could benefit Rwanda’s operations and perhaps support the firm’s expansion strategy. .
The Group CEO told The New Times that they were working on more plans for Rwanda, including airport technology project, which he did not divulge.
Generally, NAS wants to enhance its operations in countries like Abidjan where it handled about 3.5 million passengers, in Morocco where it manages about 18 lounges, as well as other countries like Tanzania, Egypt, Liberia, Uganda, and Cote D’ivoire.
Expert say the investment will drive growth of the continent’s aviation sector, which is projected to expand by 6 per cent every year.