CRS Airlines Representatives ’ the Spanish member of the EGSAC GSSA network ’ has launched a new subsidiary in Portugal, with offices within Lisbon’s new cargo complex and at Porto Airport’s cargo facility. CRS Portugal has also been appointed as EGSAC’s exclusive member for the territory.

Launch client for the new CRS business is Leisure Airline Group, already represented by CRS Spain and several other EGSAC members. CRS Portugal will also represent a number of its Spanish parent’s other carrier clients including Aerosur Cargo, CSA Czech Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and TAM; further appointments are expected in the near future.

CRS Portugal will offer direct capacity on Air Berlin, Niki and Iberworld subsidiary Orbest; the latter will start direct services from Lisbon to Mexico (Canc’n), Dominican Republic and Jamaica in May. CRS will also exploit the capacity and networks of its many client airlines flying from Madrid, using daily Air Berlin and Niki flights from Lisbon, Oporto, Faro and Funchal via Palma de Majorca to Madrid. Any larger shipments, which cannot be accommodated on these flights, will be trucked both from Lisbon and Oporto to Madrid, taking approximately 10-12 ‘hours.

In addition, CRS Portugal will feed Cyprus Airways and Air Mauritius flights from Paris CDG, and Ethiopian Airlines services from Liege, connecting both by air and truck.

Says CRS MD Toni Beato: ‘Many airlines consider Spain and Portugal as a single Iberian market, and so it makes sense for us to expand our business with the addition of representation throughout the neighboring Portugal market.

‘CRS Portugal’s main focus will be on selling the increasing range of direct flights to Europe, Eastern Europe, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Mexico is Portugal’s second largest export airfreight market, and CRS is able to provide excellent services to the whole country using the Leisure Cargo hub in Canc’n, Mexico. The established African markets will be catered for using Ethiopian Airlines and Air Mauritius.’

In charge of CRS Portugal is Vasco Sa, based in Oporto. Sa has spent many years in the GSA sector in Portugal, and also has freight forwarding experience.

Continues Beato: ‘Our aim is to offer the same professional service for which we have become known in Spain since we started our company 14 years ago. We have created a website to publicize our services, which also offers online tracking, downloadable schedules and service information.

‘Once we have consolidated our position in Lisbon and Oporto, we will consider further offices, probably in Faro and Funchal.’

CRS Airline Representatives has offices in seven Spanish locations, and represents 14 airlines plus the Leisure Cargo Group. CRS was a founder member of the EGSAC network, and is its exclusive member both in Spain and Portugal. The EGSAC network comprises over 80 bases in 34 countries.