Two Swissport International companies providing services in Brussels airport are filing for bankruptcy and ceasing operations. Swissport Belgium, ground services provider, and Swissport Belgium Cleaning, ground and cleaning services provider, are preparing to cease operations after multiple failed attempts to turn around the notoriously loss-making business, the parent company announced on June 8, 2020.
The bankrupt companies together employ 1,500 people.
Both companies relied on liquidity provisions from parent Swissport International for years, the company’s statement highlighted. In addition to the COVID-19 crisis, the situation of the two companies was worsened by the upcoming contract expiration of the largest airline customer.
“Swissport International AG decided not to provide future funding to its Belgian ground handling subsidiary after an evaluation of all available options by the local management team,” as outlined in the Swissport International statement.
Swissport International cargo business in Brussels and Liège is not affected.
Swissport is owned by China’s HNA Group. The group is the world’s largest provider of airport ground services and air cargo handling with operations at 300 airports in 47 countries. During the coronavirus crisis, the company saw its global revenue collapse by 80% and is now expecting a drawn-out market recovery, with reduced demand for air travel well into 2021.