Johannesburg/Zurich, Dec. 18, 2008 — Swissport International, the world’s leading provider of airport ground services to the aviation sector, has concluded a multi-year collaboration agreement with South African Airways. Under the new accord, Swissport will provide ground handling services for about 60,000 flights a year of South Africa’s national carrier at Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London and George airports. The agreement, which will run from 2009 to 2014, confirms and further strengthens the partners’ strong business ties.
Africa is becoming an increasingly important component in Swissport’s global operations. The world leader in the airport ground handling field is already active at 16 stations in seven African countries. And Swissport is also well represented in South Africa, whose status as a strong industrial nation is set for further growth. Swissport and its 1800 local personnel already handle the entire 58-aircraft South African Airways (SAA) fleet at the carrier’s home base. And SAA will now be entrusting all its ground services — for more than 5,000 flights a month — to Swissport’s care for a five-year period from Feb. 1, 2009.
“We’re pleased and proud to receive such a vote of confidence in our services,” says Willy Hallauer, CEO of Swissport South Africa. “We’ve clearly been able to convince SAA over the past few months that we’re an excellent partner for them in quality, flexibility and reliability terms. We’ve made tangible progress on other fronts, too: in safety and security, with our ‘zero tolerance’ project, and through innovations in areas like our baggage handling processes. And I’m delighted we’ll now be working even more closely with our local home carrier.”
SAA CEO Khaya Ngquala says that Swissport has proven its abilities over the past year, during which the ground handling firm has been working with the airline. “One of SAA’s key restructuring goals is to improve customer service and on-time-performance. We need a worldclass ground handling firm to help us achieve this,” he says.
Swissport South Africa has been expanding substantially since July of this year, when, after an extensive tender process, it won licenses from Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) to provide ground services at 10 of the country’s airports for a five-year period. Swissport has also invested several million U.S. dollars in equipment and infrastructure over the past few months, to meet the needs of its existing ground handling customers even better than before.