Last week Swissport, the largest baggage handler at Brussels Airport in Zaventem (Flemish Brabant) went to the wall. It’s smaller competitor Aviapartner will be unable to survive the corona crisis without an injection of fresh cash.
The Belgian-owned company has been running at loss for some years now and the impact of the corona crisis has served to make matters much worse. No the company needs between 20 and 25 million euro if it is to survive.
Since Swissport went bankrupt Aviapartner is the only baggage handler at Zaventem Airport. This means that the government has little choice other than to offer it some support. If Aviapartner were to stop trading it would greatly hinder the restart of passenger activities at Belgium’s largest airport post lockdown.
Although it is clear that support will be forthcoming it is as yet unclear what form this will take. It will be up to the Federal Participation and Investment Company to work out the details. It is possible that it could take the form of a loan that could be converted into share in the company.