Singapore Airlines and Swissport Zurich Launch New Airbus A380 Operation

Zurich, 28 March 2010 – Swissport International and Singapore Airlines are pleased to announce the successful launch of the carrier’s new Airbus A380 service to and from Zurich Airport. All the new processes and procedures established at Zurich to handle the world’s biggest passenger jet functioned flawlessly, to the delight of the passengers on the first inbound and outbound flights and all the airport partners involved.

With the start of the new 2010 summer schedules, Singapore Airlines now operates a daily Airbus A380 flight between Singapore and Zurich. The new Zurich service is the carrier’s third to Europe with the A380, joining London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

The new service is the first time that Swissport Zurich has been asked to handle an Airbus A380, though the Swissport Group has been accumulating experience with the giant new jet elsewhere in its network, and with other airline partners, for three years now. While no major surprises were expected at Zurich today in handling terms, the first arrival of a new service is always an event, and one that tends to generate particular pride and satisfaction among the partners concerned.

Adrian Melliger, senior vice president and head of Swissport Switzerland & Germany, agrees. “There was an exceptionally high level of anticipation during our preparations for this new service,” he confirms, “and taking part ‘live’ in the handling process was a tremendous experience for everyone involved. We’re pleased and proud that Zurich is one of only three airports in Europe which can currently handle the A380, and we thank Singapore Airlines for the confidence they have placed in our skills and expertise.”

Impressive statistics

Needless to say, it takes sizeable resources in human, equipment and facilities terms to ensure the smooth and professional turnaround of an aircraft as large as the Airbus A380. For Swissport Zurich these include:

- a special pushback tractor (cost: CHF 1 million)

- four highloaders to handle container unloading/loading

- 11 check-in desks and eight gate/boarding staff

- two additional pushback personnel

- the use of two carousels for inbound baggage delivery

- three advance (night-before) check-in desks and transfer desks

- eight persons to unload/load baggage and cargo

- a special device for travellers with restricted mobility.