Brussels Airport: new ground handling licences 2011-2018 announced today

June 8, 2011

Following a careful tendering procedure, the Board of Directors of The Brussels Airport Company today made a decision in principle on the selection of the companies that will provide third-party ground handling services at Brussels Airport in the period of 1 November 2011 until 31 October 2018 within the limited ground handling categories:

1) Ramp handling for passenger aircraft,
2) Ramp handling for full-freighter aircraft,
3) Baggage handling,
4) Freight and mail handling,
5) Catering transport. (*)

This call for tenders for the selection of two ground handlers per category conforms with the implementation of the Royal Decree of 6 November 2010, which governs the access to the ground handling market at Brussels National Airport, in application of Council Directive 96/67/EC.

The handling activities at Brussels Airport for the first four categories are currently and until 31 October 2011 supplied by Aviapartner and Flightcare Belgium. The catering transport services are currently and until 31 October 2011 supplied by Gate Gourmet Belgium and LSG Sky Chefs Belgium.

For the award of the new licences for a period of 7 years, a careful evaluation was made of the selection criteria (reliability of the company, economic and financial strength, expertise), the minimum conditions as well as the award criteria (way of working, price positioning, organisation, business plan). The call for tenders was launched on 19 November 2010 with its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. The procedure to be followed was approved by the Directorate General for Aviation and was carried out with the support of external procedural and legal experts.

Five candidates submitted a bid for the categories ramp handling for passenger aircraft, ramp handling for full-freighter aircraft, baggage handling and freight and mail handling. Based on the results of the call for tenders the Board of Directors of The Brussels Airport Company decided to award the licence for each of these four categories for the next 7 years to Flightcare Belgium (see annexe) and Swissport (see annexe).

In the catering transport category three candidates submitted a bid. The Board of Directors of The Brussels Airport Company has decided to award the licence for the next 7 years to LSG Sky Chefs Belgium (see annexe) and Gate Gourmet Belgium (see annexe).

Flightcare Belgium will continue its activities in the four categories for which it was awarded a licence for the new period until 2018. The activities of Aviapartner in the limited ground handling categories will end on 31 October 2011. Swissport, which until now was not active at Brussels Airport, is granted the licence to supply handling services in the four limited categories for which it was selected. The two catering companies that currently operate at Brussels Airport, LSG Sky Chefs Belgium and Gate Gourmet Belgium can continue their catering transport activities until 31 October 2018.
As part of this tendering procedure, all candidates have committed themselves in writing to applying collective labour agreement CAO 32bis to protect the rights of the employees. The candidates have committed themselves through a binding company statement to maintaining social peace.

(*) Note: self-handling and the different forms of ground handling within the free categories including check-in, aircraft maintenance, in-flight catering services, de-icing, etc fall outside the scope of this tendering procedure.

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