Dar airport cargo handling firm seeks to continue monopoly
Swissport Tanzania Ltd, wants government to halt liberalisation of the ground handling
Swissport Tanzania Ltd, wants government to halt liberalisation of the ground handling services to protect itself from new entrants.
This move could spark a legal battle between the firm’s competitors and the government as the latter enters the last stages of liberalising this year.
It is, however, not certain as to when a new ground handler will start its operations as Tanzania has already invited local and international firms to enter into the business.
Juan Jose Andres Alvez, board chairman of Swissport, told The EastAfrican in Dar es Salaam last week that further liberalisation of the ground handling business is likely to have an impact over the limitation of infrastructure at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA).
Mr Alvez said JKN does not have the capacity to handle multiple handlers due to safety and security of the infrastructure.
“The Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) is in the process of accommodating a second handler at the JNIA although Swissport has already signed a five year concession agreement with the government,” he said.
On July 2010 Swissport Tanzania signed a five year concession agreement with TAA effective June 2010 that gives Swissport the mandate of operating at JNIA.
This is in addition to a five year concession agreement to operate at Kilimanjaro International Airport in January which was granted by KADCO.
Gaudence Temu, chief executive officer of Swissport Tanzania told The EastAfrican that JNIA hasn’t changed its system for over 45 years thus forcing the airport to have limited infrastructure to contain the multiple handlers.
Mr Temu said during 2010, Swissport handled a total of 8,923 flights compared with 15,030 flights in 2009, signifying a drop of 41 per cent due to the Precision Air decision to handle its own +flights.
Precision Air flight handling services have reduced the number of flights and cargo handled by Swissport Tanzania in the first six month of this year.
Precision Air, which accounted for over 90 per cent of domestic flights, started self-handling about a year ago after the end of Swissport’s monopoly in handling of flights and cargo since its incorporation in 1984.
The move saw the number of flights and cargo handled by Swissport decline to 46 per cent and 12 per cent respectively compared with the same period a year ago.
The number of passengers handled by Swissport decreased by 26.5 per cent in 2010 compared with 2009.
The decrease is less than that of aircraft handled due to some airlines operating with bigger aircraft.
This signifies also that the number of passengers travelling in and out of Tanzania has increased.
Major airlines also increased their frequencies to Tanzania including Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Oman Air, Yemen Airways, Fly540 for Dar es Salaam and Edelweiss Air for Kilimanjaro International Airport.