Belgian ground handler Aviapartner gets 25 million euro lifeline from Belgian government

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Pushback  of a Brussels Airlines plane by Aviapartner, replacing bankrupt Swissport, on 15 June © André Orban

The Belgian government has approved a 25 million euro loan to help Aviapartner overcome the Covid-19 crisis. The 6-year convertible loan will be granted by the Federal Holding and Investment Company.

The financial situation of the airport assistance group Aviapartner was not good, but it deteriorated sharply with the Covid-19 crisis. The situation was not different at Swissport. The main issue is that the Belgian Government and the national airport’s operator Brussels Airport Company (BAC) did not realise the importance of the handling activity at the national airport and assumed Swissport would not stop its activities.

After the bankruptcy of Swissport, Aviapartner remained the only player with a licence to handle passenger flights at Brussels Airport, which provides the group with around 12% of its revenues. The Government and BAC woke up and realised that, if Aviapartner went bankrupt, not a single passenger aircraft would be handled at Brussels Airport, which would de facto be closed.

Aviapartner, which manages passenger registration, baggage handling and aircraft ground handling, is therefore essential. The company is now 100% Belgian after its CEO Laurent Levaux bought the shares of the HIG Capital fund with some partners.

The same scenario is valid for the airports of Ostend and Antwerp, where Aviapartner provides all the ground assistance.

Brussels Airport ground handler Swissport Belgium files for bankruptcy – nearly 1,500 jobs at stake

 

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