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Swissport expands Gulf business with Saudi airport deals

Saudi Arabia, January 2, 2019

Air services provider Swissport is further expanding its business in the Middle East with new contracts at Saudi airports.

A deal from the Dutch airline KLM will provide it with ground handling services in Dammam, while a deal from India's IndiGo will initially be handled at Jeddah, followed by Dammam and Riyadh.

As of February 1 2019, Swissport said it will be providing the full range of ground services from passenger services to ramp operations to the Dutch airline KLM for its 10 weekly flights at King-Fahd airport in Dammam.

Swissport will serve KLM’s Airbus A330 widebody aircraft during the stopovers of flights between the Dutch metropolis of Amsterdam and Muscat, the capital of Oman.

With KLM, the first major European carrier has opted for Swissport’s Saudi affiliate, a statement said.

As of March 15 2019, Swissport will handle IndiGo’s daily flights at Jeddah, followed by Dammam in April and Riyadh in September, supporting the carrier’s rapid growth in the region.

IndiGo is a private-owned carrier with a hub in the Indian capital of Delhi. With a fleet of currently 195 Airbus A320 family aircraft, which is to grow to 250 aircraft the near future, IndiGo has become the largest Indian carrier.

“With KLM and IndiGo Swissport is adding two prominent names to its growing client portfolio in the Middle East,' said Nils Knudsen, chief commercial officer of Swissport International.

Swissport recently commenced operations with flydubai, Jordan Aviation, Fly Baghdad and Sun Express for airport ground services at the Saudi port city of Jeddah and has already started serving them. Fly Jordan, a second Jordanian airline to be handled by Swissport, will launch a Jeddah service early 2019.

On January 1 2019, Swissport will also start serving SalamAir of Oman at Muscat International Airport.