Following the pandemic turbulence, Swissport has been pretty active again since NOV20, with various personnel changes, expansions, and partnerships. It appears that things are picking up speed again, and the company has a few things to celebrate this month.
Having begun MAR21 with the inauguration of its new, 5000m² sustainable cargo office building over in Brussels, Belgium, where it is continuing to refurbish its cargo warehouse and truck docks,
it closes the month with the signing of a 7-year lease on a brand-new cargo complex in Vienna, Austria. Located at Deutsche Logistik Holding‘s ‘SkyLog park Vienna’ in Fischamend’s industrial
zone, close to Vienna’s International Airport, Swissport will soon operate at double its capacity out of two 8,000 m² cargo warehouses. Construction of the complex, which will also house
Swissport offices, is scheduled to be completed towards the end of this year.
Back to 2019 business levels
“Despite persisting challenges to global aviation, air cargo volumes have rebounded and again reached 2019 levels. Our business in Vienna has also been developing favorably. We are proud of our committed team there and pleased to announce our new warehouse.” Henning Dieter, Head of Swissport Cargo Services Germany & Austria, commented. “It will support our expansion into forwarder handling and greatly benefit our customers and staff.”
Green and gleaming
So, Swissport is poised to continue where it left off in 2019 and grow its share in forwarder handling. Mid-2019 also saw the company invest in and open a warehouse at Vienna Airport, with direct tarmac access. Thus, once the new complex is ready, Swissport will move from its 4,600 m² Cargo Nord Object 10 building and operate out of two state-of-the-art cargo facilities. Efficiency and sustainability naturally also play a role in the new construction, which is designed to run its almost entirely electric ground service equipment fleet with energy from its own solar panels.
Supporting growth in South Korea
Over in at Cheongju International Airport (CJJ), South Korea, Swissport will be providing ground handling services for a new, low-cost startup, Aero K, from 01APR21. Aero K Holdings entered into a joint venture with Swissport, founding Swissport AIK Ltd. The latter will carry out ground services for Aero K’s thrice-daily A320 flights to popular Korean island holiday destination, Jeju International Airport (CJU). Korea’s newest airline plans to expand to include international services to China, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam, post-pandemic.
“Swissport is excited to support the launch of this exciting new entrant to the local market through our second joint venture in South Korea,” says Swissport`s Senior Vice President for Asia, Toralf Sonntag. “We will combine our global expertise and local knowledge to support a successful start of Aero K in April and to ensure a reliable and punctual operation.” Swissport already handles 27 airlines at South Korea’s largest airport, Incheon International Airport, providing both airport ground services and air cargo handling, and employs 850 staff.
Meanwhile, back in Benelux
Earlier this month, Swissport won a 5-year contract to carry out air cargo handling for Turkish Airlines over at Brussels Airport, around the same time that it renewed its 5-year contract in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Raşit Yilmaz, Regional Cargo Director West Europe of Turkish Cargo, explained: “Brussels Airport is an important gateway for us as we are widening our network and focusing more on special products such as pharmaceuticals. After many years of successful cooperation with Swissport in Amsterdam, we are glad to announce this enlarged partnership with Swissport in Brussels. Their global experience and well-equipped facilities will play a key role in achieving our goals.” Not only does the new cooperation include air cargo handling and ramp services for Turkish Cargo’s thrice-weekly freighter, and daily passenger flights at Brussels Airport, but the airline also planned to move into Swissport’s brand-new four-story office building, adjacent to the cargo complex, for closer cooperation.
Head change in APAC
Swissport’s current Executive Vice President for Asia-Pacific, Glenn Rutherford, has decided to step down after 23 years with the company, and will handover to Brad Moore over a period of three months, when he assumes the role early next month. Rutherford will move on to a role supporting Swissport Executive Management with post-Covid strategy, before leaving the company at the end of 2021. Christoph Mueller, President & CEO of Swissport International AG, honored Rutherford’s decision: “Over the past 23 years, Glenn Rutherford’s achievements have been extraordinary, growing the Australasian business from 35 employees to some 4,000, culminating in its acquisition by Swissport in 2018. We thank him for his impressive contributions to our business globally and to the sector in the region. We are delighted he has agreed to support Swissport until the end of the year, despite making the decision to follow his ambitions elsewhere.”
New APAC MD
Brad Moore, who not only brings a great deal of aviation experience having held ground handling, commercial and operations positions at Air Canada, Qantas, and, most recently the post of Senior Vice President Ground Operations at Qatar Airways, is also a licensed pilot. Rutherford endorsed the appointment: “With Brad’s experience in business transformation and operational excellence, he is the ideal candidate to take Swissport forward in the Australasia region. Post-Covid, the opportunities in this part of the world are very exciting and I am confident that Brad is the right person for the job.”
Brad Moore stated: “I am honored to join Swissport. Having been a customer for many years, I know first-hand the depth of Swissport’s business and the quality of its team throughout the world. We have a big task ahead of us as we navigate out of the pandemic, but the potential for Swissport in the region is immense. I am looking forward to getting started, building on the incredible work that Glenn and his team have done in creating a highly respected, robust business and a strong culture that has delivered outstanding results over many years.”
Swissport’s own prediction for APAC that “air traffic demand [expects] to return relatively quickly to its dynamic pre-pandemic growth path,” may hopefully also hold true for the rest of the world.
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