Swissport International has announced it has been awarded a second ground handling license for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Swissport Saudi Arabia (SSA), which is currently being established, aims to start operations towards the end of 2015 and will be providing ground handling services at the Kingdom´s three main international airports of Jeddah (JED), Riyadh (RUH) and Dammam (DMM). Swissport says the license agreement is planned to be signed during the course of May and includes the full scope of services including passenger, baggage, ramp and aircraft services for a period of ten years.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (GACA) had put the second ground handling license for tender last year as part of its strategy to improve operational efficiency at the Kingdom’s airports by introducing competition to be perfectly positioned to cope with the growing demand for air travel.
Swissport is currently in the process of establishing SSA and is intended to start operations “towards the end of 2015.” SSA will initially be operating at the three international airports of Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam alongside the Saudi Ground Services Company, which is currently the only ground handling company in the Kingdom. A further expansion of SSA to an optional number of domestic airports is envisaged in a second phase. Swissport Saudi Arabia will closely cooperate with GACA and the incumbent handler to guarantee a smooth start up in the interest of all stakeholders.
Juan José Andrés Alvez, Swissport’s EVP Europe South, UK, Africa, LATAM & Global Commercial, comments: “The award for the second ground handling license in Saudi Arabia is a major milestone in our business strategy and marks the market entry into the Middle East. We are very proud that our global expertise and reliability could convince GACA that Swissport is the right partner, and we are looking forward to delivering best in class ground handling services to this growing region.”