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Swissport International Ltd.
Industry Aviation (outsourcing/subcontracting)
Founded 1996
Headquarters Opfikon, Switzerland
Number of locations
270 airports
Area served
48 countries
Key people
Eric Born, President & CEO
Services Ground handling
Cargo services
Executive aviation
Aircraft maintenance
Aviation security
Travel services
Revenue CHF 3.0 billion (2014)
Owner HNA Group
Number of employees
Over 60,000

Swissport International Ltd. is a Swiss aviation services company providing airport ground and cargo handling services, headquartered in Opfikon, Switzerland. It handles around 229 million passengers and 4.1 million tonnes of cargo annually, on behalf of some 700 client-companies in the aviation sector. With a workforce of around 60,000 personnel, Swissport is active at more than 270 locations in 48 countries, and generates consolidated operating revenue of CHF 3.0 billion.[citation needed]


The company was founded in 1996 as Swissair Ground Services International, an independent subsidiary of the former Swissair. In the following years, the company expanded both through organic growth and through various acquisitions.[1] As part of the Swissair financial crisis, Swissport was first purchased by the British private equity firm Candover and in August 2005 by the Spanish construction company Ferrovial.[2] In the meantime, the company has grown through various acquisitions. At the end of 2010, Ferrovial sold Swissport for €654 million to the French private equity firm PAI partners.[3]

In August 2013, Swissport announced the acquisition of competitor Servisair.[4] who bought Handlex in Canada which was part of the group Transat in 2012. In December 2013, the acquisition was approved, subject to conditions by the European Commission.[5]

Over the years, Swissport has been the recipient of several industry awards including Ground Handling Award 2013, Air Cargo Handling Agent of the Year 2014 (for the sixth year in succession) and Global Aviation Ground Services Company 2012 (for the twelfth year in succession).[6]

On July 31, 2015 it was announced that China's HNA Group, parent company of Hainan Airlines, was to purchase Swissport for $2.81 billion US.[7] “The acquisition by HNA will enable the company to grow in the underpenetrated Asian markets and in China, in particular, thanks to HNA’s strong roots in the region,” Ricardo de Serdio, a partner at PAI Partners, said in a news release. Swissport, the world´s largest ground and cargo handling company, will remain as a stand-alone business within HNA Group, complementing HNA’s existing activities including aviation, airport management, logistics and tourism.


  1. ^ "History of Swissport International Ltd." Funding Universe. 2005. Retrieved on 22 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Candover buys Swissair arm" The Telegraph. 02 February 2002. Retrieved on 22 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Ferrovial to Sell Swissport to PAI Partners for $909 Million" Bloomberg. 02 November 2010. Retrieved on 22 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Swissport to Acquire Servisair" Airports International. 02 August 2013. Retrieved on 22 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Commission approves acquisition of ground handling service provider Servisair by Swissport, subject to conditions" 18 December 2013. Retrieved on 22 August 2014.
  6. ^ "The Swissport Profile" Swissport. Retrieved on 22 August 2014.
  7. ^ "[1]" PAI Partners to Sell Swissport International for $2.8 Billion. Retrieved on 1 August 2015.

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