Swissport, Air Malta in five-year deal

Swissport International 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.”

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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.
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