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Qantas appoints Swissport in Sydney, Melbourne And Canberra

Swissport has been appointed preferred ground services partner for Qantas in Sydney (Domestic), Melbourne (Domestic) and Canberra following a rigorous review and tender process.

Swissport Executive Vice President Glenn Rutherford said today’s announcement will expand a long and successful partnership with Qantas.

“Swissport has been the Qantas Group’s largest local provider of ground services for almost 20 years and our teams will now support the group in 20 airports in Australia and New Zealand, along with several airports in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa,” Mr Rutherford said.

“We are delighted to grow our partnership with the Qantas Group and are proud to be trusted with their ground operations at Australia’s two busiest airports, and the nation’s capital.”

The Qantas-led outsourcing review focussed on criteria such as safety, service, operational performance, cost, experience and financial viability and involved ramp services and fleet presentation at 10 Australian airports.

Mr Rutherford explained that specialist ground services providers have developed and invested in the critical systems, processes and technology necessary to achieve the highest levels of operational and service performance.

“Qantas is seeking better performance in ground operations particularly as they fight to recover from the impact of COVID-19, and their decision to outsource is in line with most other major airlines around the world.”

“It is fantastic to provide this opportunity for our extraordinary workforce which has been incredibly loyal and supportive over many years, and for whom 2020 has been particularly challenging.”

In today’s media release titled “Update on proposed outsourcing of Qantas’ Australian airports ground handling services, Qantas stated:

[Specialist ground handlers] have been safely supporting Qantas’ operations (as well as other airlines) at airports around the country, in some cases for decades. Outsourced ground handlers are required to abide by Qantas Group policies and procedures. The data shows that external ground handlers are no less safe and in some cases their safety performance is better. Take aircraft loading, which is a core part of what ground handlers do. An average of 0.4 aircraft damage events per 1000 flights for outsourced operations compared with 0.8 for Qantas staffed airports. 

The news follows Swissport’s expanded contract with Jetstar – awarded in September, when it was chosen as the preferred ramp services provider for Sydney (domestic), Cairns and Avalon, adding to an existing network of 11 stations.

The work will be awarded subject to consultation and finalisation of contracts.


  • Swissport is the world’s leading provider of ground and air cargo services, active at 298 airports in 47 countries across six continents. With a workforce of 45,600, Swissport provides best-in-class airport ground services usually for some 265 million passengers annually and handles approximately 4.6 million tonnes of air cargo at 115 warehouses world-wide.
  • In preparation for the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, Swissport is establishing global operational readiness for the handling of highly temperature-sensitive vaccines. Its state of the art Swissport pharma centres around the world will play a leading role in airport logistics for the distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Swissport’s financial restructuring is expected to complete in December or shortly thereafter. Following completion, Swissport will be owned by its senior lenders, most of them US- and UK-based financial institutions with the largest being SVP Global, Apollo, Towerbrook and Ares. HNA will have no shareholding and no involvement with the company from this point.

Media enquiries: Apollo Communications, Adam Connolly, 0417 170 084

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