Zurich/Singapore, Jan. 12, 2009 — Swissport International will be ceasing its ground handling operations in Singapore at the end of March 2009 for economic reasons and further focusing its activities on other Asian markets. The business continuity for all Swissport customers during the transition period is secured and also fair severance arrangements have been devised for the employees affected.
In its endeavors to secure the long-term success of its Asian business, Swissport has been conducting an extensive study of its present Singapore operations. It was back in 2005 that Swissport was awarded the third operating concession for Singapore’s Changi Airport after a thorough tender process. The company went on to provide the full range of ground handling services at the airport, including new warehousing facilities; and, despite a difficult market environment and the presence of two long-established competitors, Swissport rapidly won the business of four major airline customers and helped bring more attractive competitive terms to both the airport and its user carriers.
In view of the present state of the airline sector, however, and the fact that Swissport’s local operation is not of sufficient size to ensure its sound profitability, Swissport has reluctantly decided to cease all its ground handling activities in Singapore with effect as of March 31, 2009. Swissport deeply regrets this development, and will be doing its utmost over the next few weeks to ensure the smoothest of transitions for its customer airlines and fair severance arrangements for its own personnel.
The work here will involve terminating commercial agreements with existing customers and business partners and seeking the best possible solutions for the Swissport Singapore workforce of some 300 employees.
Swissport will now be focusing its attentions in Asia even more strongly on the Japanese and South Korean markets, where it is well and successfully established at five airports already. China, too, along with other emerging markets, remains firmly on Swissport’s “wish list” for further business expansion in the medium-term future.
The airfreight handling division concluded new agreements with Cargolux, Air Astana, Hainan Airlines, Onur Air, Lufthansa, Aerosvit/Unitag, Transaero and United Airlines over the past few weeks.
The seven-year license will enable Swissport/Losch to provide ramp services at the airport.