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Swissport files appeal and requests suspension in response to ramp handling license decision in Rome

On Tuesday, 7 November, Swissport filed an appeal with the Lazio Administrative Court (TAR Lazio), Italy, against the decision of Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) regarding the ramp handling license. The appeal highlights critical issues related to the tender process, emphasizing the urgent requirement to suspend the decision to ensure a fair and transparent award of the license, aligning with EU standards.

On 7 November 2023, Swissport officially contested the temporary award and procedure conducted by Aeroporti di Roma to designate the airport handling service provider for Rome-Fiumicino airport, before the Administrative Court of Lazio, Italy. The appeal seeks the suspension and subsequent annulment of the award due to the illegitimate and contradictory application of the criteria established in the tender notice and several errors made by the awarding Commission in assessing the submissions from the operators and in verifying the fulfillment of the stipulated requirements by the competitors. Swissport is persuaded of the appeal's soundness and is confidently awaiting the conclusion of the hearing, expected to occur in December. 

“Upon receiving access to the evaluation of the technical documentation submitted by the competitors in the tender procedure, we will continue with a thorough analysis and reserve the right to raise further legal objections in case of further irregularities,“ says Marina Bottelli, Managing Director Swissport Italy. „We are committed to safeguarding the interests of over 2,300 former Alitalia employees who in 2022 have found a stable professional environment with Swissport. Our company, in partnership with Assohandlers, the national association of airport handlers in Italy, just successfully concluded in renewing the sector's collective labor agreement (CLA), after years of negotiations.”
 
Swissport took over Alitalia's ground handling business and welcomed former Alitalia employees in the summer of 2022. Handling approximately 50% of air traffic to and from Rome Fiumicino, the company maintained punctual and reliable hub operations since the launch in July 2022. Since then, the company has expanded to Milano Linate Airport and plans to invest in ground services and cargo handling throughout Italy. However, the outcome of the tender for Rome Fiumicino Airport has led to uncertainty about further investments in Italy.