Belfast Telegraph

Swissport ads 100 jobs to handle growth at Belfast airport

By Staff Reporter

The aviation ground handling services company, Swissport, is to create 100 new jobs at Belfast International Airport to deal with planned airline growth.

Swissport has launched a major recruitment drive which will see its workforce at Aldergrove increase to around 350. Ten of the new posts are already filled and the remaining 90 will be in place within weeks.

The new jobs will be in several areas, including passenger check-in and baggage and freight handling. The airport says the expansion is worth more than £1.6m in wages annually to the Northern Ireland economy.

Swissport manager Jean Foster said: "Swissport is clearly delighted with the growth in passenger numbers at International. There will be a significant increase in the number of aircraft movements and that means greater demand for the wide range of services we provide.

"We're an essential cog in the wheel at the airport, and this expansion will see us confirmed as the single biggest employer on the site. This year, we expect to see double-digit growth in passengers and that's powering our rapid expansion plans."

Airport's operations director, Alan Whiteside, said Swissport, the leading provider of ground and cargo handling services to the global aviation industry, had responded promptly to anticipated passenger and aircraft increases.

Earlier this month, Ryanair confirmed it will begin flights between Belfast International and London Gatwick this spring, with further destinations planned. The Irish airline will develop a major hub at Aldergrove.

The Swissport announcement follows recent news that security company, ICTS, is adding 40 new staff to its payroll at the airport.

"This is the second big job announcement we have made in as many weeks and is a boost not only for South Antrim but for the Northern Ireland economy," said Mr Whiteside, who echoed recent comments from the airport's managing director Graham Keddie on the need for greater support from Stormont.

"These jobs are demand-driven," said Mr Whiteside. "The fact that they do not depend on a single penny of support from the government means we're seeing a win-win for the wider economy and the taxpayer.

"This airport has the potential to create thousands of new jobs and hundreds of new businesses if ministers gave the sector the relatively small levels of support it needs to attract new airlines and open new routes.

"We also need ministers to confront the issue of Air Passenger Duty (APD). It's the ball and chain that's holding us back. Without it, we could make a major contribution to growing the private sector economy in Northern Ireland."

Belfast Telegraph