Introducing Marubeni Group Companies

* Articles are based on information at the time of the interview.

Swissport Japan Ltd.

Business content

  • Airport Ground Handling Service Provider

10 years as part of the Marubeni Group, providing services at airports used by international visitors to Japan, and growing rapidly

  • President Yasuhiro Kataoka

Swissport Japan (SPJ) offers outsourcing services to international airlines at airports in Japan. The company was founded when the Swiss global firm Swissport International Ltd. (Swissport) acquired ShinMaywa Ground Services Ltd., a subsidiary of ShinMaywa Industries Ltd., in August 2006.

Swissport specializes in the field of airport ground handling, providing support for passenger services, as well as cargo handling and ramp services, and is an independent business, not owned by an airline company. It is the largest independent ground services provider in the world, with bases at 280 airports in 48 countries. In April 2007, Marubeni invested in Swissport's Japanese corporation as a joint venture.

Prior to that, SPJ's operations already included ramp services at Kansai International Airport, such as aircraft marshalling and cabin cleaning, as well as aircraft maintenance services at Kansai International, Chubu Centrair International and Fukuoka airports. After the investment by Marubeni in 2007, SPJ also began passenger and ramp services at Chubu Centrair International Airport, and passenger services at Kansai International Airport in 2009. In 2010 services were expanded to Narita International Airport, after which SPJ started an in-house cargo handling business at Narita and Kansai International airports, and then began operating at Haneda (Tokyo International) Airport in 2016. In 2017, passenger and ramp services began at Fukuoka Airport, and the business continues to expand rapidly, with operations currently at five airports in Japan.

CEO Yasuhiro Kataoka is looking ahead to expanding to New Chitose and Naha airports as well, noting, “With these seven bases we can cover more than 90% of the airports used by visitors to Japan”, as he enthusiastically explains SPJ's development of a comprehensive system to meet the needs of the rapidly growing number of travelers from abroad.

One of SPJ's strengths is the ability to provide consistent service for a variety of tasks, focusing on passenger and ramp services.

Flexible, attentive service leads to a steady increase in orders, while comprehensive “one-stop provider” capability is also a strength.

  • The SPJ logo is visible around the airport

  • Member of staff waves to passengers

The Japanese government has set a target of 40 million foreign visitors in 2020, increasing to 60 million by 2030. In line with this goal, the number of international flights, including budget flights, is increasing, and it is difficult for the supply of ground handling services at airports to keep up with demand.

SPJ can draw on know-how and cost competitiveness that has been honed through Swissport's operations around the world, as well as the power of Swissport brand, to proactively respond to the needs of international airlines. Many of our clients use Swissport services in other countries, so they ask for SPJ in Japan. The value of our reputation is second to none.

Another strength of SPJ is the ability to provide attentive, flexible services tailored to the client's needs. By providing passenger services matched to the client's style - for example our staff can be dressed in the airline's uniform if required - we have steadily increased our orders.

There are many small ground handling service companies offering a limited range of services. In comparison, SPJ has the resources to be able to provide consistent service for all operations from aircraft arrival to departure, at the five major international airports in Japan; so, SPJ can be called the leading comprehensive ground handling service provider in Japan.

SPJ supports the rapidly-growing tourism market from behind the scenes; and, will continue to contribute significantly to the economic growth of Japan by providing top-class services that meet the needs of airlines.

Swissport Japan Ltd.

Established October, 2006
Head Office 2-3-20 Nakamachi, Izumisano City, Osaka
TEL 81-7-2464-1371
Number of Employees 895 (as of October 2017)
Share Capital 50 million yen
Marubeni Group's Shareholding 49%

* Swissport Japan is currently hiring. For details of job openings, see: website

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