Swissport strengthens position as market leader

Zurich, December 28, 2000 – Swissport International aims to strengthen its position as the number one in worldwide ground handling via the continual expansion of its global network. With Swissport Executive, the SAirGroup subsidiary is entering the fast-growing market of business and private aircraft handling.

Swissport Executive, recently founded in Nice, France, as a joint venture with the U.S.-based Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., will enter the lucrative market of business and private aircraft handling on February 1, 2001 in France. Universal has 40 years of experience in this area of the aviation industry for Swissport Executive to fall back on. As a Swissport International subsidiary, Swissport Executive has declared that they will strive for global representation in this branch as well.

Further representation in Asia

When the new Inchon International Airport, in Seoul, South Korea, opens up in spring of the coming year, Swissport will be one of six companies offering ground handling services. Swissport received one of the much sought-after licenses from the airport authorities there and, at the end of March 2001, will begin providing airlines with comprehensive ground handling services such as passenger handling, fuelling and aircraft and freight handling.

Josef In Albon, President and CEO of Swissport International, is excited about the new operation. "A presence at Inchon will considerably strengthen our position in the Asian market.” In Asia, Swissport is already represented at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines.

New Swissport stations in Latin America

Since the beginning of Swissport International’s activities in South America and the Caribbean two years ago, the number of Swissport stations has continued to grow. In Argentina, Swissport established a joint venture with Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 and is present at the Ezeiza International Airport, Buenos Aires. Further stations in Argentina will be added in the coming months. In the Dominican Republic, Swissport offers passenger handling services at the airports of Punta Cana, Puerto Plata und Santo Domingo and, since mid December, at La Romana.

… and in Europe

Expansion is also visible within Swissport International’s European network. A few weeks ago, licenses were obtained for the airports in Vienna (passenger handling) and Cologne (comprehensive ground handling).

As of January 1, 2001, Swissport France will take over operations at six French airports which, until this time, have been operating under the name of Air Littoral Assistance.

Good performance will be rewarded

Not only the list of Swissport stations is growing, but the list of stations being recognised for their performance is increasing as well. Swissport South Africa received two honours for their exceptional work at the airport in Cape Town (one from British Airways and one from KLM) and an award in Johannesburg for the safest and most reliable ground handling company. In Israel, British Airways named Swissport the Best Team of the Year for the entire Mediterranean region.

At the present time, Swissport International Ltd. (a company of the SAirServices division of the SAirGroup) handles 53 million passengers and services 1.4 million aircraft yearly for more than 400 airlines at 124 airports worldwide. In 1999, with a staff of over 15 000 in 23 countries on four continents, Swissport generated operating revenue of approximately CHF 700 million.