Brussels Airport can handle 90% of the flights after the demise of Swissport

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® Ivan Coninx

Ninety percent of all flights at Brussels Airport can be handled, the operator of the national airport said on Thursday. Monday, 15 June, is an important date: many airlines are resuming operations, and the bankruptcy of Swissport might have hampered their restart.

The airlines that usually work with Swissport are making agreements with the other handler, Aviapartner. Among them, Brussels Airlines, which has a 40% market share at the airport, says it is ready to relaunch its flights on Monday.

We are working with unions and bankruptcy administrators to quickly find a solution,” said airport spokesperson Nathalie Pierard.

In the short term, Aviapartner should, therefore, be contracted by Brussels Airlines, which was the main customer of Swissport. The airline has itself a handling licence and would, therefore, be able to carry out part of the handling with the assistance of Aviapartner.

Other airlines with an important activity at Brussels Airport, Ryanair and TUI fly, are already working with Aviapartner. “Therefore, 90% of all flights at Brussels Airport are being taken care of“, says Nathalie Pierard.

This week, many still active airlines working with Swissport had to cancel flights or reroute them to other neighbouring airports such as Amsterdam Schiphol.

On Friday afternoon, Brussels Airport issued the following statement:

Brussels Airport is taking the necessary initiatives to ensure the continuity of passenger handling operations in the very short term. The airport is in contact with a dozen handling companies that may be interested in starting passenger handling activities in Brussels very quickly. The restart of passenger flights on June 15 is not compromised and passenger services will be assured as planned. The management of Brussels Airport also met this Friday afternoon with the social partners of Swissport for a state of affairs and to assure them of its active support in finding solutions for the redundant workers.

The Swissport receivers appointed by the Brussels Enterprise Court have confirmed that all Swissport employees were made redundant as of this Wednesday and that in no way could Swissport’s activities continue. Under these circumstances, Brussels Airport Company was therefore obliged to revoke the licence from Swissport, which allowed the company to carry out passenger handling activities at Brussels Airport.

Brussels Airport Company has been actively looking for very short-term solutions for several days to ensure that all flights operated at the airport can be handled despite the cessation of Swissport operations.

The restart of passenger flights on June 15 (see list hereunder) is not compromised and passenger services will be assured as foreseen.

Brussels Airport also takes the necessary measures to ensure that a second ground handler for ground handling services for passenger flights is established as soon as possible, as required by law.

Brussels Airport is in contact with other handling companies that can take over all or part of Swissport’s activities in the short term, by granting a temporary licence, as provided for in European regulations. Almost ten handling companies have already been identified and contacted by Brussels Airport. They must submit a final offer in the course of next week. After selection, the chosen company will receive a temporary license and can offer its services to the airlines operating at Brussels Airport. At the same time, Brussels Airport will start a new selection procedure for granting a new handling licence to replace that of Swissport.

This Friday afternoon, the management of Brussels Airport has the social partners of Swissport to update the situation and to assure them of its active support in finding solutions for the redundant workers.

List of airlines and destinations operating at Brussels Airport in the week commencing 15 June 2020

Airlines Destinations
Aegean Airlines Athens
Air Canada Montreal
Air Serbia Belgrade
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Brussels Airlines Alicante
Athens
Barcelona
Berlin
Budapest
Catania
Copenhagen
Faro
Lisbon
Madrid
Malaga
Marseille
Napels
Nice
Porto
Prague
Rome
Tel Aviv
Venice
Vienna
Bulgaria Air Sofia
Croatia Airlines Zagreb
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Finnair Helsinki
Hainan Airlines Beijing
KLM Amsterdam
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Munich
Ryanair Dublin
SAS Copenhagen
Swiss Zurich
TAROM Bucharest
TUI fly Dubrovnik
Eskisehir
Faro
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Wizz Air Budapest

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