Swissport expands in Liege with BAS takeover
03 / 03 / 2022
By Damian Brett
Swissport has continued to expand its cargo business with the takeover of cargo handler Belgium Airport Services (BAS) in Liege.
The ground handler has acquired 100% of BAS. The deal grows Swissport’s total warehousing and handling capacity in Belgium by 40%. Between them, the two companies operate cargo centres with a combined capacity of 76,000 sq m in Belgium, about half of which is at Liège Airport.
Swissport also operates a 38,000 sq m air cargo facility at Brussels Airport.BAS will initially be run as a standalone business to ensure service consistency for its customers.
The operational leadership team of BAS will remain in charge of running the BAS operation, and employment and working conditions will also be maintained.
At a later stage, services will be integrated and consolidated under the Swissport brand.
BAS customers include El Al, Turkish Airlines and Hongyuan group.
Jan van Engelen, head of continental Europe at Swissport, said: “This positions Swissport as an even stronger partner for airlines and forwarders in Liège and in Belgium as a whole. Swissport will continue to invest in developing its cargo business as a strategic pillar in Belgium and beyond.”
Dimitri Bettoni, managing director of Swissport Belgium, added: “Cargo volumes have been soaring and so warehousing space is crucial. Belgium Airport Services is a high performing company, operating a sizable airside cargo facility adjacent to our existing facility in Liège, plus two additional second line warehouses.”
Swissport also today revealed plans to build a new cargo centre at Schiphol, although no further details were provided.
Last year, the handler reported record cargo volumes of 5.1m tonnes at its 114 cargo centres, up more than 10% on pre-Covid 2019 volumes of 4.6m tonnes.
The company has also recently announced investments in cargo centres at Vienna airport and Canada. In 2020 it opened a 17,000 sq m pharma facility at Frankfurt and refurbished its Brussels pharma facility.