Swissport extends cooperation with Saudi Arabian airports

The Air France-KLM airline group has resigned for five years with Swissport for ground handling services at Saudi Arabian airports, adding freight to passenger services.

After the Lufthansa group in Switzerland, Swissport announced on January 14, 2021 that it will serve the Air France-KLM group in Saudi Arabia until 2025, the new contract extending “the existing cooperation to all flights of all airlines of the Franco-Dutch air group, including freight services, to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ”. The service provider specifies in a press release that this concerns all of the group’s airlines, “including KLM, Air France, Air France Cargo, Martinair and Transavia”.

The start of the expanded agreement is marked by a new service from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines between Amsterdam and Riyadh (RUH) four times a week from the week of January 11, 2021, which is operated with wide-body Airbus A330s. Prior to Covid, Swissport had provided airport ground services to KLM on ten weekly flights to Dammam (DMM), a stopover on the route between Amsterdam and Muscat in Oman, where Swissport also provides ground services.

“We are delighted and honored by the renewed confidence Air France-KLM has placed in our activities and our employees in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Gerold Tumulka, CEO of Swissport Middle East. “By including all of the group’s airlines in the contract, we are Air France-KLM’s preferred partner in the region. We look forward to staying with them as the market recovers and supporting them post-Covid as the outlook improves.

The contract extension supports Swissport’s growth strategy in the Middle East. Very recently, Swissport added Al-Qassim as the fourth airport to its portfolio in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where the provider has been present since 2016 (in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam). Since then, Swissport has gradually developed its business “from a new start-up to an established organization with a large customer base of established regional airlines and renowned international carriers.

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