Swissport looks to enter Russian market with local partner

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Swissport International is looking to enter the Russian ground services market through co-operation with a locally-based partner.

On 16 May, the global ground handling provider concluded a blanket collaboration agreement with Service-VS, operating out of Moscow Vnukovo airport.

Juan-Jose Alvez, vice-president of ground handling for Europe at Swissport, says: "We're able to handle a mainline narrowbody aircraft in as little as 22 minutes, bringing benefits both to the airline and airport."

Under the agreement, Service-VS will adopt standards set by the Swiss partner by September. Rebranded as Swissport Russia, it will then seek to expand activities beyond Vnukovo airport.

"In particular, we plan to do business at [Moscow] Domodedovo, [St Petersburg] Pulkovo and Krasnodar airports," says Service-VS general manager Vadim Shishko.

In March, Swissport lost control of its Kiev-based affiliate Swissport Ukraine following a court ruling.