Swissport International has signed a seven-year lease agreement with Melbourne Airport for its first air cargo facility in Australia.

The new facility is expected to open in the third quarter of this year. Swissport plans to reveal further Australian locations in the near future.

Located on Mace Way, the facility offers direct airside access and ‘state-of-the-art cargo facilities’ to handle and store general cargo, animals, pharmaceuticals and perishables.

Swissport Asia-Pacific executive vice-president Glenn Rutherford said: “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.

“Swissport has industry-leading processes, training and systems built up across more than 300 sites worldwide over our 25-year history and we will provide a nimble service model designed to better meet customer requirements and deliver on both price and service.

“We are excited to serve new customers in Australia and look forward to adding Australia to our global cargo network for our existing global customers.”

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Last month, German airport operator Fraport and Swissport Cargo Services Deutschland started the construction of Swissport’s new airfreight facility at Frankfurt Airport in Germany.

In July, Swissport International opened its second air cargo warehouse at Vienna International Airport. This facility was constructed by Flughafen Wien, the operator of Vienna Airport.

In February, Swissport International signed an agreement to acquire the remaining 50% stake in Heathrow Cargo Handling (HCH) from its joint venture (JV) partner Air France.

In addition, the company signed a long-term lease agreement with Fraport in 2018 to build a new air cargo facility at CargoCity South freight in Frankfurt Airport.