Cargo Supports Cologne Bonn in Pandemic Year 850,000 Travellers Expected in the Summer Holidays
The coronavirus pandemic and the historic collapse in passenger traffic by 75 per cent had a significant effect on the economic result of Cologne Bonn Airport in the 2020 financial year. As the number of travellers fell to just 3.1 million, and revenue of around 130 million euros was lost, the airport posted a result after tax of minus 31.1 million euros. In spite of the impact of the coronavirus, the 2020 operating result (EBITDA) was positive at 6.1 million euros.
“Although the crisis affected us badly, and we had to correct our passenger forecasts downwards several times, we were able to minimize our losses in 2020,” says Johan Vanneste, President and CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH. “Savings measures in the company as a whole and our cargo business were decisive in ensuring that we didn’t go even further into the red in spite of the major financial losses and that we even ended the year somewhat better than anticipated,” Vanneste continued.
The collapse in passenger traffic in 2020 led to a massive drop in revenue to 208.4 million euros (2019: 341.2 million euros). Measures to reduce costs were implemented across the company, such as a recruitment freeze, postponing projects that were not absolutely necessary for operating the airport, as well as drastic reductions in expenditure. Short-time work was introduced in areas affected by the pandemic. These measures and an ongoing performance improvement programme which includes increases in revenues and significant cost reductions, saved around 80 million euros on the costs side and the income losses were largely compensated. “Thanks to the performance improvement programme that was launched a year before the coronavirus crisis, we were able to greatly moderate the financial impact of the crisis. Nevertheless the pandemic, with its historic decline in passenger revenue, has created a completely new situation that we had to adapt to. We have done so thanks to the combined efforts of all employees. Moreover, Cologne Bonn was the only major airport which achieved a positive operating result in 2020,” explains Managing Director/CFO Torsten Schrank.
Traffic Development 2021 and Outlook for the Summer
Rising vaccination rates and the gradual removal of travel restrictions are reflected in growing passenger numbers. In June, we once again welcomed more than 10,000 passengers in a single day. This number will double to more than 20,000 in July. The airport is optimistic about the summer holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia: in the six weeks of the school holidays, around 850,000 passengers are expected – about 40 per cent of the pre-crisis level. 20 airlines will fly to 100 destinations from Cologne Bonn Airport. “We are especially pleased that new airlines such as S7 Airlines, Freebird Europe, Air Cairo, FlyErbil and Green Airlines have added completely new, exciting destinations to our schedule,” said Vanneste. In total, around 550 weekly flights to sun and sand destinations are on the schedule in the holidays. The most popular tourist destinations are Turkey, Spain and Greece, as well as other countries in the Mediterranean, such as Egypt, the Balkans, Italy and Portugal. Cities such as London and Vienna are also popular destinations in the summer.
After the upwards trend last year, with growth to 863,000 tonnes (+6 per cent), air cargo is proving to be an important second area of business in 2021, too. “Alongside passenger traffic, cargo operations are our second mainstay, giving us stability in economically difficult times such as these. In 2021, we are expecting a continuation of the positive trend for our cargo business with more than 900,000 tonnes of goods,” Johan Vanneste expounded. The rise in tonnage is due to the role of air cargo in the worldwide transport of medical goods, protective equipment and vaccines and the increasing importance of e-commerce.
Check-In in Terminal 2, Shops Open
Since June, Terminal 2 has been used for check-in again in addition to Terminal 1. Security checks are still being performed centrally in Terminal 1. Each traveller may take only one piece of hand baggage through the security checks. All other baggage must be checked in.
Coronavirus Test at Cologne Bonn Airport | Centogene.