Etihad Cargo and Swissport agree global partnership deal

Swissport International, the world’s leading provider of ground services to the aviation sector, has been certified as the first Preferred Handling Partner (PHP) of Etihad Cargo, the fast-moving cargo division of United Arab Emirates carrier Etihad Airways.

Only companies who meet the high service performance standards of Etihad Cargo and can assure consistency in quality across their regional operations can be certified a Preferred Handling Partner. Etihad Cargo has specific performance benchmarks in the areas of safety, security management, regulatory compliance, training, IT interfaces, business planning and risk management. 

The two-year PHP certification with Swissport is focused initially on six Etihad Cargo stations: Athens, Geneva, Larnaca, Nairobi, Seoul and Toronto. Etihad Cargo hopes to expand cargo operations with Swissport at other destinations over time, in addition to enhancing cargo handling at more than 100 off-line Swissport destinations, which Etihad Cargo offers in conjunction with partners.

Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer at Etihad Airways, said:  “Swissport is world-renowned and has an enviable track record in providing high-quality and efficient ground services to cargo operators. Following an extensive audit of their corporate procedures and compliance with Etihad Cargo’s expectations, we believe this PHP certification not only makes sound business sense, but the synergies derived from the deal also raise the bar for other suppliers to join our Etihad Cargo PHP programme.

“The Etihad Cargo-Swissport PHP deal will standardise the product and service we jointly deliver, strengthen our network operations, and enhance the reliability and quality of ground handling services to our customers.  We look forward to developing this partnership into one of mutual confidence and trust, and maximising the returns on our commercial operations.”

John Batten, Executive Vice President Cargo Services at Swissport International, said: “We are proud Etihad Cargo has chosen us as their first ever Preferred Handling Partner and we look forward to close cooperation as we provide the highest quality services and processes to further develop and expand our partnership into the future.”

Swissport International and Etihad Cargo are both members of the International Air Transport Association’s Cargo 2000 (C2K) industry group. The group’s mission is to create and implement a C2K quality standard and management system by bringing about greater efficiencies, improving customer service and reducing costs in the worldwide air cargo industry.

Etihad Cargo serves 86 destinations internationally and operates a fleet of two Boeing B777Fs, one Boeing 747-400F, two Airbus A330-200Fs and one Airbus A300-600F.  To ensure capacity stays ahead of demand, Etihad Cargo will take delivery of four additional freighters in 2013 and 2014, comprising one Boeing B777F, one Boeing 747-400ERF and two Airbus A330-200Fs.

Swissport International Ltd. provides ground services for around 118 million passengers and 3.5 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 650 client-companies in the aviation sector. With a workforce of around 40,000 personnel, Swissport is active at 192 stations in 38 countries on five continents, and generates annual consolidated operating revenue of CHF 1.9 billion. www.swissport.com

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, began operations in 2003, and in 2012 carried 10.3 million passengers. From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad Airways serves 86 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, with a fleet of 72 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and over 90 aircraft on firm order. Etihad Airways also holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus. www.etihad.com