Swissport Wins Gold From ITM

Swissport has demonstrated true commitment to innovation and consolidation in 2011, garnering not one but two ITM awards. It was named Best Ground Handling Company 2011”, an award it has received many times in the past, while its Chief Executive Officer and President, Per Utnegaard, received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Swissport’s achievements, not only in 2011, but throughout its distinguished history, have led the Institute of Transport Management to bestow upon it the Gold Standard Award of Excellence 2011”.

Swissport started life as the ground handling division of Swissair AG and became an independent company in 1996. It boasts nearly half a century of experience in ground handling and is well respected for its lengthy service to the industry and accumulated management expertise. It combines this pedigree with a modernising policy of substantial investment in the latest ground support equipment, so as to combine the best of both worlds in providing a top class service package. This award has gone to an outstanding company, which since its inception has seen increasing profits and portfolio growth and now is the world’s leading ground service provider.

Swissport provides ground services for around 100 million passengers and 3.2 million tonnes of cargo a year (the latter using 98 warehouses with a total floor area of over 360,000 square metres) on behalf of some 650 client-companies in the aviation sector. With a workforce of around 35,000 personnel, Swissport is active at 180 stations in 36 countries on five continents, and generated consolidated operating revenue of CHF 1.7 billion in 2010. Yet despite these impressive figures, it is always seeking to improve its position – take for example, its current negotiations Finnair to take over its baggage and apron services at Helsinki Airport. (Finnair already chose Swissport to take over cargo ground handling duties at Brussels International Airport in July.)

It is also committed to grow with developing technology. In South Africa last year, Swissport employed Mix Telematics to create software that maps the various airports within which it operates. The software allows Swissport to see at a glance exactly where all its equipment is at any given time. It has made the monitoring and last-minute moving of equipment not only easy but reliable, as the system updates every 30 seconds. Incorrect times can’t be logged and the closest tug can always be used to accommodate a change in flight plan.

Other recent notable achievements include Swissport opening a 10,500 square metre airside warehouse at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The facility set new benchmarks in a number of areas, particularly in the handling and storage of perishable goods, which make up 80 percent of Nairobi’s airfreight. It also commenced operations at Lufthansa’s Munich hub, proved its excellent handling expertise in South Africa during the soccer World Cup and the acquired two important contracts at the Tokyo-Narita Airport, with Cathay Pacific and Turkish Airlines.

According to the ITM:

“Swissport's services encompass the full spectrum of airline requirements on the ground, all geared toward the ultimate goal of moving cargo and passengers as efficiently, swiftly, and safely as possible. The company also makes provision for a number of other needs such as aircraft cleaning and fuelling and line maintenance. Swissport is constantly on the look out for new means of enhancing its services and recently has been instrumental in the pioneering of web-check-in and self-check-in facilities. It also aims to better serve its airline clientele, a current total of 650 organisations, through a prolonged expansion programme for its global station network.

“In light of its past, current and what we believe will be its future achievements, we at the ITM have no hesitation in bestowing upon Swissport the Gold Standard Award of Excellence 2011’. Congratulations to all at the company who are responsible for making it such a success.”