Swissport, a leader in airport ground services and air cargo handling, said its contract with leading French-Dutch airline group Air France-KLM in Saudi Arabia has been extended for another four years.
The start of the expanded agreement, which is valid until 2025, is marked by a new KLM service from Amsterdam to Riyadh (RUH) four times per week, sad the statement from Swissport.
The new contract expands the existing cooperation to all flights of all airlines of the French-Dutch airline group, including freighter services, to and from the kingdom. It includes KLM, Air France, Air France Cargo, Martinair and Transavia.
Swissport pointed out that the new deal, which further boosts its presence on the Arabian peninsula, will see it provide air cargo handling services in addition to passenger services and ramp handling.
"We are excited and honored by the renewed confidence Air France-KLM puts in our business and our people in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, says Gerold Tumulka, CEO of Swissport Middle East.
“By including all airlines of the group into the contract, we are the preferred partner for Air France-KLM in the region. We look forward to standing by their side through the market recovery and support them post-Covid as prospects get brighter,” he added.
The four-times-a-week flights are being operated with Airbus A330 widebody aircraft. Pre-Covid, Swissport had provided airport ground services to KLM on ten weekly flights in Dammam (DMM), a stop-over on route between Amsterdam and Muscat, Oman, where Swissport also provides ground services.
According to Tumulka, the contract expansion supports Swissport’s growth strategy in the Middle East.
Just recently, it had added Al Qassim as a fourth airport to its portfolio in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Overall, Swissport has been present in Saudi Arabia since 2016 when it started operations in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.
Swissport has since gradually developed its business from a greenfield start-up into an established organization with a broad customer base of established regional airlines and well-known international carriers, stated the top official.
Swissport Middle East is also operating in Oman together with its partner Al Jarwani Group, which holds 30% of the joint venture.
Since the start of Omani operations in 2017, Swissport Oman has rapidly grown its customer portfolio, too, positioning it as a reliable airport service provider for regional and international carriers alike, said Tumulka.
In 2019, Swissport International AG provided best-in-class airport ground services for some 265 million airline passengers and handled roughly 4.6 million tons of air freight in 115 cargo warehouses worldwide, he added.-TradeArabia News Service