Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the air travel restrictions that characterized much of 2021, Swissport can look back on a successful business year, thanks primarily to its cargo unit. In 2021, goods totalling 5.1 million metric tons (2019: 4.6 million tons) passed through more than 100 air cargo centres. This is an all-time high and represents an increase of some 10% over the 2019 pre-crisis levels. While the company’s larger airport ground services business is still severely affected by the global travel restrictions, Swissport continues to recover here as well. With almost 97 million passengers (2019: 265 million) served and just over two million flights handled (2019: 4.1 million), volumes are still down, but the number of flights handled is up 21% on 2020.
With the anticipated easing of pandemic restrictions in many countries, Swissport expects travel demand to rebound in the coming months, latest by the start of the summer holidays. The company has launched a large-scale recruitment initiative to get ready to support over 850 airline customers in ramping-up their operations. Swissport will create some 17,000 new jobs worldwide. These are primarily frontline roles in passenger services (check-in, gate) and ramp handling (movement of aircraft/towing, baggage handling).