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Swissport and Air Malta conclude a five-year cooperation agreement covering 23 destinations


Valletta/Zurich, April 19, 2006 – Swissport International, the world’s leading provider of ground services to the aviation industry, and Air Malta, Malta’s flag carrier have concluded a comprehensive ground handling agreement. The accord offers further clear evidence of the advantages and the appeal of a multinational contractual approach in the dynamic and ever-expanding air transport sector.

With competition further intensifying all the time, cost advantages have never been as crucial as they are in today’s air transport industry. And cost considerations are one of the prime reasons why Air Malta has opted to entrust its ground services – which currently account for some 15% of its total expenses – to a reliable and efficient ground handling partner. Moreover, instead of dealing with the same issues and concerns with 20 different ground handlers, the airline has elected to place much of its ground services in the hands of a single industry partner.
After intensive negotiations, Air Malta has now chosen Swissport International as its new ground handler. As a result, Swissport will be named as Air Malta’s “preferred partner” at 23 locations of the carrier’s destinations from April 2006.

The partners have not revealed the precise volume of business involved, but the operation will entail handling several thousand flights a year.

Both partners are delighted with the accord, which has been concluded for an initial five-year period. “In concluding this comprehensive agreement with Swissport International, we not only buy-in these services at a better price; we can also raise the quality and reliability of these same ground services,” says Joe Cappello, Chief Executive Officer at Air Malta. “We are also gaining an innovative industry partner who, we are confident, will provide us with swifter access to further developments in the field such as web check-in and other new facilities.”

Andreas Müller, Key Account Manager and project leader at Swissport International, is equally enthusiastic: “We are very pleased to have forged this closer professional partnership with Air Malta,” he explains. “It’s never the size of an airline that is the prime criterion for us; it’s how well we can collaborate to enhance the business processes, and how effectively we feel we can work together generally, based on our past experience. On both these counts, we’re convinced that this agreement provides a sound foundation for further developing both our businesses and our collaboration in the months and years ahead.”

Air Malta is the tenth airline to have concluded a regional, multinational or global ground handling agreement with Swissport International, the industry’s leading ground services provider, in the last two years. And all these accords clearly confirm the growing trend towards closer and more comprehensive partnerships of this kind.

About Air Malta:
Air Malta is Malta’s National Airline. The airline offers customers a selection of around 50 scheduled destinations to Europe, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Air Malta has a fleet of 14 Airbus and Boeing aircraft configured in business and economy. The airline is in the midst of a four and a half year aircraft fleet replacement project.
By the year 2007, the airline’s fleet will be replaced with 12 new state-of-the-art Airbus planes from the A320 and A319 aircraft family. By that time the average age of the fleet will go down to 2.5 years.

About Swissport:
With a workforce of around 21 000 personnel, Swissport International Ltd. (which is owned by Ferrovial, a leading European infrastructure and service corporation based in Spain) provides ground services for over 70 million passengers and three million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 600 client companies. Swissport is active at 175 airports in 41 countries on five continents, and generated consolidated revenues of some CHF 1.5 billion (around EUR 950 million or USD 1.2 billion) last year.


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