Swissport Strengthens its Asian presence by Acquiring a Ground Handling Company in Japan

Swissport International, the world's leading provider of aviation services, is to take over the business activities of Japan-based ground handling company ShinMaywa Ground Services, which operates at the key airports of Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka. No details have been disclosed of the purchase price.

The air transport sector has been booming in recent years. And the growth has been particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific region – a trend that has already prompted Swissport International to expand its operations to the Philippines, Korea and Singapore.

In further pursuit of its overall growth strategy, Swissport has now gained a foothold in the Japanese ground handling market with the acquisition of ShinMaywa Ground Services Ltd. (SGS), which offers ramp handling and line maintenance services and is active at four of the country's airports. The corresponding sale agreement was signed on July 31. SGS currently has a workforce of some 170 personnel and generates annual operating revenue of around CHF 11 million. Swissport has acquired SGS from ShinMaywa Industries Ltd., a successful Japanese corporation whose product range extends from aircraft to airport airbridges, environmental systems, special vehicles and water treatment systems. With ground handling not being part of its core competencies, ShinMaywa is pleased to have found a reputed industry specialist in Swissport who takes over the business activities of SGS and continues to grow the company.

To date, the Japanese ground handling market has mainly been served by local airlines and their ground services companies. Swissport's arrival is sure to spark a new dynamic in the sector. "I am convinced that our new ownership is a major step forward for our company," says Kenji Ishibashi, the President of SGS. "Working with Swissport, we aim to set new quality standards at the airports we serve, and to offer the airlines more alternatives when choosing their service partners."

Joseph In Albon, President & CEO of Swissport International, also believes that the acquisition makes sound business sense. "Developing our activities in the rapidly-growing Asia-Pacific market is not only important to Swissport in strategic terms; it also enables us to further expand and enhance the network agreements we maintain with our international airline customers.

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