Swissport International plans to open its first Australian air cargo terminal at Melbourne Airport in the third quarter. The Zurich-based ground handling company announced Thursday that it had signed a seven-year lease on a new building and warehouse space at the airport, and that it soon plans to announce other cargo locations in Australia.
The new facility has direct airside access and will be able to handle and store general cargo, animals, pharmaceuticals and perishables for airline customers.
"With this launch, we bring a fresh approach and a more competitive offer to a market that has not seen a new entrant for more than 20 years," said Glenn Rutherford, Swissport's executive vice president Asia Pacific.
Melbourne Airport handles more than 30% of Australia's international air freight market. Cargo terminal operators at the airport include Qantas, Menzies, Dnata and DHL. The Australia Post has a facility there as well.
Swissport, which has business at 310 airports in 49 countries, operates 122 cargo warehouses around the world and handles about 4.8 million metric tons of cargo per year.