[UPDATED] Swissport wins 7-year handling contract for Switzerland with airlines of the Lufthansa Group (except Brussels Airlines)

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Swissport has been awarded a major long-term contract by the Lufthansa Group for Switzerland. The new contract secures significant business volumes. It covers passenger services and airport ramp handling for Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines and Edelweiss Air at the airports in Zurich, Geneva and Basel.

After challenging negotiations, Swissport has been awarded a long-term contract by the Lufthansa Group, which is securing significant business volumes at Switzerland’s airports for seven years. The win comes after a recent agreement for Qantas’ ground services at the three major Australian airports in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. As airlines are preparing for a post-Covid world, they seek reliable partners, and this is what Swissport delivers. The company is in the final stage of completing a financial restructuring and will emerge from the crisis with a strengthened balance sheet, which will see its ownership transferred to a group of new shareholders.

The new seven-year contract with the Lufthansa Group comprises passenger services and airport ramp handling in Zurich, Geneva and Basel, Switzerland. It runs from 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2027 and covers the complete hub handling for Swiss International Air Lines at Zurich Airport, and further services for Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines and Edelweiss Air in Zurich, Geneva and Basel.

The Lufthansa Group with Swiss national carrier Swiss International Air Lines provides the majority of flights in and out of Switzerland. In 2019, Swiss International Air Lines’ volume accounted for approximately two-thirds of all flights serviced by Swissport at Zurich Airport. “Major airlines trust in Swissport as they plan for a post-Covid world and prepare to ramp-up operations in 2021,” says Willy Ruf, Swissport’s Senior Vice President, Central & Eastern Europe. “We are thrilled to have won Lufthansa Group’s renewed trust and motivated to get back to work and support them through an operationally smooth return to higher traffic volumes.

Swissport has provided SWISS with passenger services and ramp handling in Switzerland since the carrier’s first flight in 2002. Christoph Casparis, Head of Ground Operations SWISS: “We are pleased to be able to continue our long-standing partnership with Swissport in the coming years. Competent and smooth passenger care and ground handling are of central importance to our customers and to us, and Swissport is an extremely reliable partner of SWISS and other Lufthansa Group airlines in this area.

With Swiss International Air Lines providing the majority of flight services at Zurich Airport and a significant part of all services in Geneva, this long-term agreement is a strong signal for Switzerland’s aviation, too.

UPDATE

Aviation24.be contacted Swissport to know why Brussels Airlines, which currently uses Swissport as its handler in Geneva and Basel, was not included in the contract. Nathalie Berchtold, Swissport Head of Communications Switzerland, replied that “we did not mention Brussels Airlines in our media release because the renewal of the contract with Lufthansa Group for Switzerland does not include Brussels Airlines. We are still in negotiations with Brussels Airlines.

Comment: Strange way of negotiating for a Group. One would think that together, the Lufthansa Group airlines would have a stronger position in discussing with Swissport. Why is Brussels Airlines negotiating separately?

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