Swissport International and the Lufthansa Group have extended their long-standing partnership in Kenya. For more than eleven years, the global leader in aviation services has been providing airlines of the Lufthansa Group at Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi (NBO) with ramp handling as well as check-in and gate services.

With the extension of the contract, the partnership now also covers cargo handling and warehousing services for Lufthansa Cargo, which operates flights between East Africa and its hub in Frankfurt, Germany.

“We are pleased to extend our partnership with the Lufthansa Group and to serve one of the globally leading cargo airlines at Nairobi International airport”, says Racheal Ndegwa, Managing Director of Swissport Kenya. “Air cargo handling and warehousing are crucial components of our business, and we are proud to match the needs of Lufthansa Cargo with our operational readiness and world-class facilities here in Nairobi.”

Swissport's state-of-the-art Nairobi cargo center offers 10,400 square meters of space for the handling of general cargo as well as perishables and temperature-sensitive goods like pharmaceuticals. The facility includes a Swissport Pharma Center, which has been certified by IATA’s CEIV Pharma. With a focus on the safe handling of perishables from fruits to vegetables to flowers, which are among the most important Kenyan export goods, the Swissport Cargo Center in Nairobi has also been CEIV Fresh-certified.

Swissport has recently launched a so-called “flower corridor”, a cool-chain initiative that for the very first time brings together all stakeholders of the flower export line, from farm operators to airlines and forwarders. The innovative process quickly proved to be very successful as it helps extend the shelf life of fresh-cut flowers and thus reduces waste.

“Nairobi is an important travel and logistics hub for many airlines, and we are thrilled to extend our partnership with the Lufthansa Group”, says Dirk Goovaerts, Managing Director Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Global Cargo Chair of Swissport International. “Our investments in the facilities, in professional and skilled teams, and our willingness to support our clients’ most ambitious requests drive our success in Nairobi.”

At Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Swissport has been providing airport ground services and air cargo handling since 1997. The Kenyan operations have been growing continuously, and over the years, Swissport extended its business significantly, adding to its portfolio aviation security services in 1999, cargo handling in 2003, lounge hospitality, freighter ramp handling and apron bussing in 2015, centralized load control services in 2019. A centralized cargo office opened in 2020 and most recently, centralized finance in 2022.

At the end of last year, Swissport was named “Best in Ground Handling and Best in Cargo Warehousing” at the annual Aviation Business Excellence Awards in Nairobi. With a workforce of some 495 people, Swissport serves more than 20 airline customers in Nairobi, handling 320 flights and some 5,800 tons of cargo per month.

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