SWISS and Swissport have agreed on a new and forward-looking model for their future collaboration. ÊThe agreement, which follows intensive negotiations between the two partners, will see a redefinition of the ground products and services provided at the airports served by SWISS. ÊIt also envisages Swissport taking over all SWISS’s ground services activities, enabling each partner to focus on its core business and save costs.
SWISS and Swissport concluded a landmark Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday, August 6, following bilateral discussions. ÊThe forward-looking agreement will enable the partners to place their collaboration on a promising new footing by the end of 2006. ÊIts key contents in brief:
* A redefinition of the ground handling product (processes and services, and including cargo handling) in and outside Switzerland.
* A basic agreement that SWISS will entrust all its ground handling functions and activities to Swissport within the next twelve months. ÊAs a first step, this “outsourcing” will be effected immediately at six SWISS stations - Johannesburg, Nice, Paris, Madrid, Los Angeles and Zurich - with the aim of having the new arrangements in place and operational by the start of the winter schedules at the end of October.
The new agreement, and the actions it entails, will enable SWISS to effect sizeable cost savings and focus more clearly on its core flight operations. ÊAt the same time, SWISS will continue to have a major say in key ground product areas (such as lounges, VIP services and VIP assistance) to ensure that its top customers continue to enjoy the best possible ground services product.
A number of workgroups will be carefully studying and clarifying all aspects of the various interfaces and workflows involved over the next few weeks. ÊThe modifications entailed will initially be effected at downline stations, and subsequently with the head-office organisation.
The amalgamation of the two ground services organisations will also reveal certain duplications. ÊThe partners plan to conduct joint assessments of the personnel concerned. ÊNeedless to say, the unions and staff associations are closely involved in all these developments, helping ensure that the best solutions are adopted for all the personnel affected.
SWISS and Swissport are delighted at this further intensification of their close collaboration, and are convinced that this new landmark arrangement will prove a sound and satisfying business success for all the parties concerned.