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Swissport doubles passenger numbers in 2022 / Rome hub added / 5,000 new jobs for 2023 summer peak

In 2022, Swissport International AG accelerated its revenue growth on the back of a strong recovery of global aviation. The airport ground services division handled 3.3 million flights last year (2021: 2.0 million) and served 186 million passengers, almost double the number of travelers served a year prior (2021: 97 million). In the air cargo segment, Swissport handled 4.8 million metric tons in 2022 (2021: 5.1 million).

In 2022, Swissport International AG aggressively ramped up operations as large parts of the world emerged from their Covid economies. The summer months were characterized by extreme spikes in travel demand that coincided with a dried-up labor market, global uncertainty over post-Covid travel regulations, and an operational environment which was characterized by growing pains as global aviation struggled to get back on its feet.

Despite a challenging operational environment, Swissport, the global leader in aviation services, realized strong growth. In the ground services segment, which includes check-in and gate services as well as ground movement of aircraft, baggage handling and services like aircraft de-icing, the number of aircraft turned increased to 3.3 million (2021: 2.0 million). The number of airline passengers served nearly doubled to 186 million in 2022 (2021: 97 million), reflecting the return of demand for international travel. In the cargo business, global supply chain issues, the war in the Ukraine and a tightening of monetary policy by leading central banks contributed to a slowdown. Regardless, Swissport handled a solid 4.8 million metric tons in 2022 after a record 5.1 million tons in 2021.

“Thanks to early staffing efforts in the spring, Swissport was well prepared to support airlines as a reliable partner when they rapidly ramped up their flight schedules ahead of the spring and summer holidays,” says Warwick Brady, President & CEO of Swissport International AG. “Considering the unique challenges of 2022, the first post-Covid year, we delivered a very solid result. We are especially proud of our new operations at Rome-Fiumicino airport, where we launched full hub operations with outstanding punctuality for Italy’s ITA Airways.”

In the current market environment, airlines increasingly focus on their core business. Many turn to Swissport when outsourcing ground services, and increasingly so for hub or large base operations. Since taking over its first hub operation in Zurich, Switzerland, some 20 years ago, Swissport has established itself as the preferred hub expert and airline partner with a steadily growing number of hubs and large bases in its global portfolio.

“The complexity we manage in our hubs provides us with invaluable insights to manage our non-hub operations more successfully and efficiently as well,” explains Karen Cox, Global Director of Operations & Safety.

Across its network of nearly 300 airports, Swissport recruited and qualified tens of thousands of new staff members in 2022. The company’s global workforce saw a seasonal peak of 54,000 people in summer 2022. That’s almost 30% more than at the end of 2021. At year-end 2022, Swissport employed 50,000 staff and is currently driving another broad recruitment initiative, to fill some 5,000 new positions before the peak travel season.

“For 2023, we remain fully dedicated to enable our airline customers' success, supporting their growth story on the ground at more and more airports on six continents”, says Warwick Brady. “We continue to invest in product and service innovation and in operational excellence, not least by committing to further increasing our share of electrically powered vehicles to at least 55% by 2032 to support the decarbonization of global aviation.”