Swissport files for bankruptcy, almost 1,500 jobs under threat


The baggage handler Swissport has filed for bankruptcy. As well as providing baggage handling services the company also provides cleaning services at Belgium’s biggest airport at Zaventem in Flemish Brabant. A total of 1,469 jobs are under threat. Swissport’s air cargo operation will not be impacted by the decision.  

In a statement released on Monday morning Swissport cites “the global market collapse caused by the corona pandemic”. However, the company has long been in difficulty and had drawn up a recovery plan. The corona crisis has dealt a final death blow to Swissport Belgium.

"A transformation plan that relied on a gradual restart of global aviation had been drafted. However, this has proved to be financially unattainable”. The company is largest baggage handler at Brussels Airport and has Brussels Airlines as its biggest customer.

"Since March volumes handled on the ground have fallen to almost zero and the expectation is that in the best case scenario they won’t return to pre-crisis levels before the end of 2022." 

Almost 1,500 jobs to be lost

The bankruptcy announcement is bad news for 1,309 employees of Swissport Belgium and for the 160 people that work for Swissport Belgium Cleaning. An official receiver will be appointed as soon as the Commercial Court has declared the two companies bankrupt.

Swissport’s air cargo operation is not affected by the bankruptcy. The air cargo arm of Swissport employs 467 at Zaventem and at Liège Airport in Wallonia.   

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