Swissport and SAA are working together

South African Airways and Swissport sign 5-year agreement for 6 stations

Johannesburg/Zurich, December 18th, 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 some 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 over 5 000 flights a month – to Swissport’s care for a five-year period from February 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 world class 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 licences from Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) to provide ground services at ten of the country’s airports for a five-year period. Swissport has also invested several million US dollars in equipment and infrastructure over the past few months, to meet the needs of its existing ground handling customers even better than before.

Swissport International Ltd., which is owned by Ferrovial, a leading European infrastructure and service corporation based in Spain, provides ground services for over 70 million passengers and 3.2 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 650 client companies. With its workforce of around 30 000 personnel, Swissport is active at 183 airports in 42 countries on five continents, and generated consolidated operating revenue of CHF 1.9 billion (EUR 1.3 billion or USD 1.8 billion) last year. /

South African Airways (SAA) is one of the leading carriers on the African continent, Consistently receiving the accolade of Best African Airline. Its vision is to be an African airline

with global reach. The airline is one of the oldest in the world, having reached the grand age of 74 years. It is solely owned by the South African Government and falls under the Department of Public Enterprises. In 2007/08, SAA flew more than 7,4-million passengers and had a workforce of 8 227 people. SAA joined the world’s largest global airline network, Star Alliance on 10 April 2006.