Swissport Belgium and Aviapartner Belgium, the two handlers at Brussels Airport, failed to come out of the red figures last year. As in 2017, both companies suffered losses in the handling of passenger flights at Brussels Airport, according to annual figures published on the website of the National Bank of Belgium.
Aviapartner had said it was about to make a profit last year before a multi-day strike in the autumn would undermine its ambitions. “The strike cost us about 3 million euros,” says the company. “Instead of a net profit of about 1.5 million euros, we closed the year with a loss of 1.44 million euros.”
The results nevertheless go in the right direction. Compared to 2017, the net loss was reduced by more than half (-3.6 million euros in 2017) and the turnover increased by 3.7% to 63.9 million euros. “We expect to break even this year or make a profit,” says the company.
Aviapartner Belgium handles the passengers of some 30 airlines at Brussels Airport, including Ryanair and TUIfly.
Its competitor Swissport Belgium, which has Brussels Airlines among its customers, experienced similar difficulties last year. Its turnover increased (+ 7% to 84.8 million euros) and the net loss decreased more than a quarter to -3.4 million euros.
Both companies stress in their annual report that they are taking steps to improve their finances.
Aviapartner and Swissport are the only active handlers at Brussels Airport for passenger transport. Their activities include baggage handling but also services such as passenger check-in and boarding, de-icing and refuelling.
For the cargo business, in addition to Aviapartner and Swissport, there is a third handler at Brussels Airport, dnata.