Swissport/Losch to Commence New Munich Operation

Zurich/Munich/Stuttgart, Feb. 17, 2010 – Swissport International and its local partner Losch will be commencing their new joint operation at Munich Airport as planned on March 1. The partners have already won German-wings, Spanair, Air Berlin, Air Dolomiti and Czech Airlines as their first customers; and Continental Airlines will be entrusting its handling to Swissport/Losch from March 28 onwards. Negotiations are also nearing completion with a number of further carriers.

Munich Airport has seen substantial (and favorable) developments on the ground handling front since the Swissport/Losch joint venture won an international tender process last November and secured a license to provide ramp services at the airport from March 1, 2010. The various subsequent preparations have progressed extremely well, enabling the new provider to commence its handling operations on schedule at the beginning of next month.

Swissport/Losch are particularly pleased to have won several customers already for their new ground handling services: European short- and medium-haul carriers Germanwings, Spanair, Air Berlin, Air Dolomiti and Czech Airlines, along with a major long-haul carrier in the shape of Continental Airlines. The six customers will provide Swissport/Losch with some 70 flight movements a day in the first two months alone – an impressive level of initial business for a start-up operation.

“We’re very pleased with the ground handling arrangements that we’ll have right from the start of our Munich operations,” says Marcel Kägi, Airport Business Manager Zurich & Munich for Continental Airlines. “We’re really looking forward to working with Swissport/Losch: we have a lot of confidence in them. Swissport already has an excellent reputation throughout the handling sector; and we’re sure that the new company will be able to meet our high quality standards and provide us with an excellent ground handling service.”

“I am delighted that we’ve already secured this vital start-up volume,” adds Marc Losch, co-CEO of the new joint-venture company. “I’m also very optimistic about our new operation – not least because we have managed to recruit and train 100 skilled and qualified employees who are now ready and waiting to start their work on 1 March. They will be joined by a further 100 staff on 1 April, to help us handle the growth. And all our operating personnel will enjoy all the rights and benefits of working under a collective labour agreement. By gradually adding new customers,” Losch continues, “we will also be able to ensure that we can consistently provide a faultless handling service. And we are well on schedule with all our preparations here.”

Adrian Melliger, Swissport International’s Senior Vice President Ground Handling Switzerland & Germany, is equally positive about the new Munich operation. “Our offer of an alternative handling solution has been very well received by the local airline community,” he says. “As well as the customers we have won already, we’re in talks with several further carriers on possible collaborations; and I’m confident that our Swissport/Losch business will continue to develop well.”