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Swissport to transfer its German passenger handling to AHS Aviation Handling Services on 1 June 2009


Zurich/Hamburg – Swissport International, the world’s leading provider of ground services to the aviation sector, is selling its passenger handling operations in Germany to Aviation Handling Services GmbH. The sale, which will be formally concluded on 1 June, does not include the cargo handling activities of Swissport Deutschland GmbH. Preparations are already under way to ensure a smooth transfer of the passenger services concerned for customers and employees alike. The parties agreed not to divulge the purchase price involved or the further terms of the sale agreement.

AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH is to take over the organisations and operations of Swissport’s subsidiary companies at Hamburg, Hanover, Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf and Munich airports in Germany on 1 June. The entities concerned will all be transferred to a new subsidiary named AHS GermanGround GmbH within the AHS Group. The sale will see up to 680 current Swissport personnel transferring to the new AHS subsidiary. Preparations have already been embarked on – including due consultation with all works councils and all the further parties involved – to ensure a smooth and seamless handover of all the corresponding business activities.

The acquisition of the Swissport Group’s passenger handling operations in Germany is a major step for AHS in its endeavours to remain a strong and effective business presence in the increasingly competitive air transport market. “As a provider of aircraft handling and ticketing services, we are facing a growing consolidation within the airline sector,” says CEO Reinhardt Erdmann-Leutner. “The economic and financial crisis has hit the air transport business head-on,” he continues. “And it’s only by working together that we will meet and master the challenges of the next few years and secure jobs within our sector.”

AHS is already active at 14 German airports, with responsibility for handling aircraft and passengers on behalf of its airline customers or their local representatives. The company is jointly owned by the airports of Hamburg (32.25%), Hanover (34.75%), Bremen (12%), Stuttgart (10%) and Münster/Osnabrück (10%) and by AirPart Nuremberg (1%), and has a countrywide workforce of over 1 000 personnel. Swissport Ground Handling, Services and Travel are fully-owned subsidiaries of Swissport International Ltd. via its Swissport Deutschland GmbH holding company.

A good solution for Swissport, too

“We are very satisfied with this transaction,” says Adrian Melliger, Senior Vice President at Swissport and head of the company’s Swiss and German ground handling operations.
“The amalgamation of these activities confirms the consolidation we’re seeing right now throughout the international markets. And I’m pleased, for our customers and for our personnel, that we have found such a sound and professional purchaser of our German passenger handling business.”

The customers and employees of Swissport’s passenger handling organisation in Germany will be provided with details of the coming handover phase in the next few days. Swissport thanks all the customers and staff concerned for their many years of trust, confidence and collaboration, and wishes them all every success and satisfaction under the new ownership arrangements.

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 3.5 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 650 client companies. With its workforce of around 33 000 personnel, Swissport is active at 178 airports in 40 countries on five continents, and generated consolidated operating revenue of CHF 1.9 billion (EUR 1.2 billion or USD 1.7 billion) last year. /


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