Swissport and Aer Lingus Cargo conclude five-year collaboration covering ten stations

Zurich/Dublin, 7 December 2009 - Swissport International, the world's leading provider of ground services to the aviation sector, has concluded a comprehensive partnership with Aer Lingus in the cargo field. The multinational agreement offers a model of how such accords may be structured in future to ensure sustainable long-term success for the partners involved.

In today's tough business times and with the fierce competition they have inevitably produced, it is not only cost benefits that are playing an increasingly vital role in the airline industry. Confidence and trust in longer-term collaborations are gaining in importance again, too.

In line with this trend, Aer Lingus has decided that, instead of having to redefine the same requirements and expectations ten times with ten different suppliers, it prefers to entrust a large part of its cargo handling activities to a single handling partner. And, after extensive analysis and corresponding negotiations, the airline has chosen Swissport to act in this capacity.

As a result of the Irish-based carrier's decision, Swissport will be named "preferred partner" at ten Aer Lingus stations in Europe over the next few weeks. The stations will include key hubs such as Paris, London, Frankfurt and Brussels. The partners declined to give details of the precise cargo volumes involved, but these are sure to be sizeable. Aer Lingus is currently in the midst of an extensive restructuring programme, and is striving to adopt innovative and forward-looking approaches to help maximise the returns on its commercial operations.

Both parties are delighted at their new collaboration, which has been concluded for a five-year period. For Remo Hanselmann, Head of Aer Lingus Cargo, the partnership makes sound business sense: "With a volume agreement like this, we are not only able to buy-in these services more efficiently and at more favourable rates; we also enhance the reliability and the quality of our ground handling services. I'm also convinced that the resulting standardisation of the product and the processes involved will deliver major benefits to everyone concerned."

Rudolf Steiner, Key Account Manager and Senior Vice President at Swissport, is equally enthusiastic. "We are greatly looking forward to this closer collaboration with Aer Lingus and to maintaining a strong professional partnership in the longer term. For us, it's not the size of an airline partner that's paramount; it's whether we can jointly optimise our business processes and develop a long-term relationship of confidence and trust. This agreement provides an excellent foundation for both sides to grow even further in the future and jointly master the many challenges such growth can bring."

Swissport International Ltd., which is owned by Ferrovial, a leading European infrastructure and service corporation based in Spain, provides ground services for over 70 million passengers and 3.5 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 650 client companies. With its workforce of around 32 000 personnel, Swissport is active at 179 airports in 38 countries on five continents, and generated consolidated operating revenue of CHF 1.9 billion (EUR 1.25 billion or USD 1.9 billion) last year. www.swissport.com / www.ferrovial.com

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