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Swissport cargo business steady despite Covid-19

SWISSPORT Tanzania has said cargo business maintained its steadiness despite decreasing number of flights caused by competition and the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The ground handling firm said its cargo business increase by 1.0 percent or 228 tonnes to 18,779 tonnes last year compared to that of previous year.

Swissport Tanzania Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Mrisho Yassin said the business has been significantly hit by the on-going liberalisation of the ground handling market and the novel virus, but cargo business has remained stable and continues to contribute positively to the firm.

“Cargo business is still very stable compared to the ground handling business, with the increase largely attributed by the increase in export of perishable products, in particular avocados,” Mr Yassin said.

He said, during AGM, that cargo tonnage was marginally higher at 18,779 tons in 2019 compared to 18,551 tons in 2018.

Also, despite increment on tonnage, cargo revenue decreased 1.0 percent to 18.49bn/-from 18,69bn/-in 2018.

However, Mr Yassin said the opening of the country sky poises to bring extra relief to handling business this year despite Covid-19 impact.

“The fear we had that this will cause a long term effect has reduced after opening of the sky, where airlines like Qatar, KLM, Ethiopia resume flights, believing that our activities will continue as usual,” he said.

The firm has continued serving over 18 airlines including Air Tanzania (ATCL), Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar (passenger), KLM (cargo), and Swiss Air (cargo).

Last December, the firm won a business to handle the national carrier and is determined to offer ATCL highclass service and grow with them.

Also last July, Swissport won another tender of serving Uganda Airlines and said: “we do hope they will grow stronger and continue contributing to our business.”

However, the ground handling firm reported a 70 per cent net profit slowdown to 2,31bn/-after losing almost two-third of business from Fastjet, which went under. In 2019 Swissport handled 8,412 flights from 14,051 flights.

Also the loss of Etihad Airways due to cessation of business in the country, as well as Rwanda Air and KLM passenger handling business went to competitors.


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