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Swissport Italy invests 11 Million Euro in electric vehicles / plans to employ 400 former Alitalia staff

After concluding 2023 with over 170,000 flights handled and more than 21 million passengers served at Rome Fiumicino Airport in Italy, Swissport, the global leader of airport ground services and air cargo handling, will invest some 11 million Euro in environmentally friendly vehicles in Rome. A significant share of the new vehicles will be electric-powered, contributing towards the Swiss market leader’s ambition to increase the share of electric vehicles in its fleet to at least 55 percent by 2032.

Aligned with the company's global commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, Swissport Italy pursues an ambitious plan to further modernize and electrify its vast fleet of ground support vehicles. An investment of 11 million euros has been earmarked for Swissport Italy to acquire new vehicles, a significant portion of which will be electric-powered. These include tractors for towing and push-back of long-haul aircraft, passenger buses, baggage belts, cargo loaders, and transporters. Additionally, the fleet of baggage tractors has been revamped, with 50 new electric tractors operational at Fiumicino and another 70 scheduled for delivery before summer.

The company has also recently inaugurated its new Fiumicino operations center, strategically located in close proximity to runway activities. The state-of-the-art facility serves as the nerve center for hub management and coordination. Dedicated Swissport teams oversee operations, including the coordination of airplane, passenger and baggage transit services at Fiumicino airport, ensuring the quality and safety of our operations.

"Our investment in fleet modernization and infrastructure upgrades aligns with our commitment to deliver market-leading handling services to our 30+ airline customers at Fiumicino,” says Marina Bottelli, Managing Director of Swissport in Italy. “As the global sector leader, we also continuously invest in a more environmentally friendly operation. Swissport will further increase the share of electrically powered vehicles in its fleet to at least 55 percent by 2032. Longer term, we are committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by latest 2050.”

Swissport Italy currently employs 2,300 people, recruited in July 2022 following the acquisition of Alitalia's ground handling operations during its extraordinary administration. The company remains optimistic about integrating an additional 400 former Alitalia employees who are currently placed on administrative leave, in accordance with agreements reached with union representatives on 4 July 2022 and contingent upon obtaining the license to manage ramp services at Rome Fiumicino Airport, a matter currently under appeal with the Administrative Court of Lazio. A decision is expected by 20 March 2024.

In November 2023, Swissport contested the handling tender awarded by Aeroporti di Roma, which excluded the company from the list of qualified operators at the airport just 16 months after its acquisition of the ground handling business of Alitalia, the employment of 1,600 people and a successful start of operations at Fiumicino. The appeal challenges the improper application of tender criteria and numerous significant errors made by the evaluating commission. Following a hearing before the Lazio Regional Administrative Court on 22 November 2023, a decision was postponed while Aeroporti di Roma agreed not to finalize contracts with the successful bidders.

"We have strong grounds and remain confident that the decision will be reconsidered. This will enable Swissport to maintain its high-quality operations at Fiumicino, providing ITA Airways with ground services at its home base, along with numerous other international air carriers,” explains Marina Bottelli. "Moreover, Swissport will provide employment opportunities for another 400 former Alitalia employees."

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