Swissport Vienna to cease passenger handling operations for commercial reasons

Zurich, 1 October 2009 – Swissport will be terminating its passenger handling activities at Vienna Airport at the end of 2009. The world’s leading ground handler has been compelled to take this action following the collapse of SkyEurope in August and the insufficient prospects of positive local business development in the longer term. Swissport will now seek the best possible solutions for all the airlines affected by its decision, and hopes that the employees concerned – around 70 – can be taken over by the airport’s handling agents together with their duties.




Swissport has been active at Vienna Airport since 2001, offering the full range of passenger handling services. The decision to cease these operations was preceded by long and intensive discussions with various existing partners and possible new airline customers. Sadly, however, these talks did not produce sufficient tangible signs that these operations could be viably maintained in the longer term.

The decision was primarily triggered by the cessation of SkyEurope’s operations on 18 August and the airline’s subsequent filing for bankruptcy, which deprived Swissport Vienna overnight of a key revenue source. The decision has also been prompted, however, by the less-than-favourable ramp situation, where Swissport remained far from confident of obtaining a licence in the short- or mid-term future. In addition to the above, Swissport considered itself unlikely to win new airline customers or otherwise increase its business volumes in the foreseeable future, given the present general economic conditions.  

Swissport Vienna’s cargo handling operations are not affected by the decision to terminate its passenger handling activities.

Swissport is currently working with the airlines and the employees affected by this decision in the next few days and weeks to find solutions which will ensure that the closure of its passenger handling operations (which is currently scheduled for 30 November) can be managed as smoothly, carefully and professionally as possible.

Swissport thanks all its customers, business partners and personnel for the good collaboration it has enjoyed over the past eight years, and hopes that it can count on their understanding for its decision.



Swissport International Ltd., which is owned by Ferrovial, a  leading global infrastructure and service corporation based in Spain, provides ground services for over 70 million passengers and 3.5 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 650 client companies. With its workforce of around 32 000 personnel, Swissport is active at 181 airports in 38 countries on five continents, and generated consolidated operating revenue of CHF 1.9 billion (EUR 1.2 billion or USD 1.7 billion) last year. /