The current ground handling map in the Spanish airports

Iberia's A340 serviced by Iberia Handling at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport. By Entropía - Flickr.

Once the bids received by Aena for the ramp handling at the Spanish airports were announced, published an interesting article about the current distribution of the ramp handling licenses in Spain. According to their information, the ground handling services in the Spanish airports represent a 830 million Euro business. Of this amount, 540 million are related specifically to ramp handling services. This amount is currently spread among Iberia, Groundforce, Swissport, Acciona, Atlántica, Clece, Lesma-Ryanair, EAT and Menzies.


Until the new licenses are confirmed by Aena in the spring of 2015, the current ground handling map in the Spanish airports shows Iberia leading the list of handling agents. They are based in 41 airports. Apart from the ramp handling services to third parties, they provide map  handling and supervision as well. The Iberia staff is made up of 7,500 employees and they have 8,000 vehicles. In 2013, Iberia provided handling services to over 310,000 planes and about 73 million passengers.

Some of the airports where Iberia does not operate are Barcelona, Almería, Murcia(*) , Jerez, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. However, they offer other kinds of services in Barcelona (in cooperation with Groundforce) and in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura (in cooperation with Clece). Recently, Iberia got new equipment for their services valued at 2.5 million Euros, aimed toward placing bids for the handling tenders.


Meanwhile, Groundforce placed bids for 39 airports. They are currently the second handling operator, with licenses for 20 airports. Among the airports where they provide service to third parties, it is worth mentioning Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Seville, Tenerife North, Tenerife South, Gran Canaria, Girona and Alicante. They work for over 300 airlines around the world, with a yearly work load of 300,000 flights. Moreover, they have the main cargo terminal network in Spain with a presence in 14 airports.


Swissport has a ramp handling license for 9 airports i.e. Madrid, Málaga, Jerez, Almería, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. Apart from these, they provide some handling services in 12 other airports, such as Bilbao, Tenerife South and Gran Canaria, after acquiring Servisair in December of 2013. Their current market share in the Spanish airports is 18%. In 2013 they provided service to 200 airlines, with a staff of 3,000 employees. Most of the low cost airlines are among their customers.

Menzies Aviation

The Scottish company is the second worldwide handling operator behind Swissport. Their target is for their business in Spain to represent 9% of their income. This would let them be placed among the main 3 handling operators in Spain. They intend to get a license for at least one of the 3 lots in which the smallest 22 airports have been grouped. Furthermore, through its subsidiary, Menzies Aviation Iberica, they currently provide ramp handling services in Alicante, Murcia, Almería and Jerez. Also, they operate in the General Aviation terminal at Barcelona airport. Besides this, they provide passenger handling in Asturias, Santiago de Compostela, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Seville, Málaga, Tenerife and Alicante. Menzies Aviation Iberica has 900 employees and invoiced 28.5 million Euros in 2013.


Finally, Acciona Airport Services, which also placed bids for the licenses, currently provides ramp handling services in some Spanish airports. At the moment, they have a license for Palma de Mallorca, Menorca and Gran Canaria.

For further information about the current ground handling map of the Spanish airports, you may want to check out the image from They have drawn a point for each handling operator on every main airport on a map of Spain.

Photo: Iberia’s A340 assisted by Iberia Handling at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport. By Entropía – Flickr.



  1. MJV 12 May, 2015 said:

    Good morning, I advise you check your information about handling companies because at MJV operate two handling companies Menzies Aviation and Iberia Handling, then Lesma-Ryanair and as autohandling companies. So at MJV do operates Iberia as handlig agent beacuse there are two handling licenses but for the next seven years there will be only one license. Thank you in advance

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