Island Aviation braces for GMR handover earnings hit: report

Last week’s handover of Male’ International Airport to infrastructure giant GMR could cost airline group Island Aviation Services (IAS) as much as Rf90m in a one-off annual loss based on the company’s own estimates, according to news reports.

As of November 24, 2010, a number of operations handled by IAS such as international cargo, ground handling and domestic passenger services were taken over by GMR as part of a long-term expansion programme it has undertaken at the transport hub.

Speaking to Haveeru, IAS Managing Director ‘Bandu’ Ibrahim Saleem said that the loss of the operations was expected by the group to be initially substantial to overall operations.

“Some claim that it would be a very small amount. But it is not. Despite the fact that several employees are leaving us we are still determined to take the company forward. But at this point we need to make some sacrifices,” he told the newspaper.

“We do not want to complain about the change in this situation. I thank all those who instructed the employees. All the employees who are leaving us today are faithful to the nation and are dedicated.”

Saleem claimed that the financial impact of handing over the operations to GMR was expected to be felt next year as a one-off hit to the group’s earnings.

In looking to IAS’ future though, the company’s Managing Director was optimistic that proposals it has submitted to the government in relation to Kaadehdhoo Airport reflected potentially lucrative new avenues for the company to explore, according to the report.