Swissport Kenya celebrates 25 years of operation
The Kenyan company was set up as one of the first entities abroad only a year after Swissport International AG was incorporated in Zurich, Switzerland in 1996
Swissport celebrates 25 years of successful operations in Kenya. It has established itself as the largest independent ground-handling company in Kenya, clearly distinguishing it in terms of quality and reliability. The global leader in aviation ground services started at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in September of 1997 with ramp handling and passenger services - and a team of just 27 employees. The successful operation and growth led to the addition of more services over the years, including aviation security in 1999, cargo handling in 2003, executive lounge hospitality, freighter ramp handling and apron bussing in 2015, centralized load control services in 2019, a centralized cargo office in 2020 and most recently, centralized finance in 2022.
"The growth of our business in Kenya is a reflection of the growth of our people," says Racheal Ndegwa, Managing Director of Swissport in Kenya. "Swissport prioritizes training and provides professional development pathways. This enables our staff to provide operational excellence and customer-centric services."
Swissport leads the way beyond delivering state-of-the-art Kenyan airport ground operations. The Swiss Company also puts great attention to sustainability in all its facets. "We integrate sustainability goals into our strategic and operational objectives and decision-making," says Ndegwa. At Swissport Nairobi, all ground support equipment (GSEs) at the Cargo warehouse are electric, whilst solar panels are installed on the roof of the cargo warehouse to generate approximately 30% of the required energy, a number which is expected to rise.
In Kenya, the company also plays an active role in fostering collaboration between local cargo communities and empowering stakeholders to work together and contribute innovative solutions. Swissport's Flower Corridor initiative, for example, has created a highly efficient and secure supply chain for fresh-cut flowers from the farms to the end customers. It ensures maximum handling efficiency, security, and prolonged shelf life for retailers.
"We have very ambitious plans for Swissport in Kenya, both in terms of domestic geographical growth and service offering," says Dirk Goovaerts, Head of Swissport Continental Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Global Cargo Chair. "I have full confidence in the service excellence and dedication of our team in Kenya and beyond, and I look forward to celebrating the next round of anniversaries of their successful operation."
Currently, Swissport Kenya employs over 470 trained and qualified professionals. In accordance with the organization's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) agenda, the operations in Kenya work relentlessly to fulfill and exceed Swissport's ambitious goals on employee diversity and inclusion.