Swissport International reported air cargo handled in 2020 at 4.1 million tons compared to 4.6 million tons in 2019, a drop of 12.3%.
Christoph Mueller, Group President & CEO of Swissport International AG, commented: “After a devastating 2020, we expect regionally varied market recoveries for the second half of 2021.
“Last year has been extraordinarily difficult for the entire sector. Covid-19 has essentially wiped out airline demand for the classic ground services business between March and the end of the year. Demand for air cargo logistics was also very heavily impacted but still fared better and helped stabilize the company.
“For the second half of 2021, we believe a robust rebound could be possible in some regions while other regions will continue to suffer for some time. The speed at which vaccination protection is established at domestic level and on individual continents, as well as entry regulations between countries, will be crucial here – especially for the private travel segment.”
Swissport’s revenue decreased by roughly 50 percent compared to 2019, due to the unprecedented decline in global demand for air travel and, as a consequence, airport ground services. The rapid recovery of the air cargo segment from mid-2020 contributed positively to the overall result. The integrated Swissport business model delivered much needed resilience when the company – along with the whole sector – was in a very difficult place a few months into the pandemic. With no state bailout granted, the stability of the Swissport business model has provided it with the time required to negotiate with lenders and investors and secure private financing.
Mueller added: “Stability and reliability is what Swissport brings to the table when we talk to airlines about their post-Covid plans and a potential outsourcing of ground service activities.
“With the company refinanced and under new ownership of US and UK investment funds, our deleveraged balance sheet Zurich, 22 January 2021 and cash reserves of around 500 million euros, Swissport is positioned as the partner of choice for airlines as they get ready to turn the page on Covid-19 and embark on what we expect to be a long-drawn-out recovery.”