Aviation article(s)
March 21, 2023

Swissport announced that it is acquiring a majority stake in Düsseldorf Airport's cargo handling unit.


The two firms have entered into binding agreements to acquire a 74.9% shareholding in Flughafen Düsseldorf Cargo GmbH, marking an important step in strengthening Swissport's cargo presence in Germany.


Future acquisition plans 


In a statement, Swissport said it would continue to explore ways to accelerate global expansion in airport ground services and cargo handling through acquisitions.


With this transaction, it noted that Swissport and Düsseldorf Airport will enter a long-term partnership to merge their existing air cargo handling businesses at Düsseldorf airport and to jointly develop them further.


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 Source: Swissport

Swissport said it would offer access to its global network with more than 850 customers.


The transaction is in line with Swissport's strategy to accelerate its growth and expand its global presence in the core business lines of airport ground services and air cargo handling.


"We are very pleased to enter into this long-term partnership with Düsseldorf Airport. It is a great example of how we intend to partner with airports globally to strengthen their ground services and cargo handling offerings," said Warwick Brady, president & CEO of Swissport.


"We see that airports worldwide are interested in talking to us about different strategic options for their cargo and ground handling units. We believe Swissport is the right partner for them due to our global network and industry-leading operational capabilities," he added.


Binding agreements were signed on March 17, 2023.


Swissport noted that the closing of the transaction is subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities.


With this acquisition, Düsseldorf will become Swissport's second-largest air cargo site in Germany, with around 130 employees. 


Digitalisation investments


Swissport noted that it had invested heavily in the digitalization of its air cargo business to handle air cargo efficiently and intelligently with innovations such as the cargo app, driverless transport systems, speed cargo, artificial intelligence, kiosks, door management systems, slot booking, and Bluetooth ULD tracking giving Swissport an advantage to process air freight competitively.


After handling a record 5.1 million tons in 2021, 4.8 million metric tons of cargo passed through the company's more than 100 air cargo centres in 2022, including 352,700 tons in Germany.

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