Quick take-off for Cologne Bonn Airport after the pandemic

In spite of the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Cologne Bonn Airport completed the 2021 financial year better than expected and earned a much better annual result than in 2020.

Although it is still minus 14.5 million euros, the loss was more than halved in comparison to the previous year (2020: EUR -31.1 million).

“Thanks to the efforts of the whole team, the airport is coming out of the crisis well,” says Thilo Schmid, President and CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH.

“Both traffic segments have developed positively this year, with the result that the company will return to profit in 2022.

“This year, our focus will be on consistently pursuing our sustainability activities.”

With its business model of passenger traffic and cargo, Cologne Bonn greatly increased its economic results in the last financial year.

It ended with an annual result that was more than EUR 10 million better than planned (plan: EUR -24.7 million).

In the last financial year, sales revenues rose by more than 18 per cent to EUR 246.3 million (2020: EUR 208.4 million).

“With increases in revenue and strict cost discipline, revenue falls in passenger traffic were largely compensated for,” says Chief Financial Officer Torsten Schrank.

“Our results improvement programme, which we successfully started before the pandemic, continues to be the guarantee for our business success.”

In spite of the pandemic, the airport was one of the few German airports to consistently earn a positive operative result (EBITDA) in the amount of EUR 32.6 million in what was now the second year of the pandemic. In 2020 the EBITDA was EUR 6.1 million.

“In economic terms, the airport is making very good progress,” says Schrank.

Further recovery is expected in the summer months ahead. The airport assumes that the passenger numbers will more than double in 2022 and rise to around 9 million.

“We are optimistic that we will be able to break through the one-million tonne barrier,” Thilo Schmid says.

School holidays to see more than 1 million passengers

In the summer, there will once again be just under 1,000 take-offs per week – almost as many as before the pandemic. 23 airlines fly from Cologne Bonn to 117 destinations in 34 different countries.

In the summer, there are likely to be months with more than 1 million passengers again – for the first time since October 2019.

In the school holidays, the airport is expecting 1.75 million travellers, which is approx. 86 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

On individual days, the volume will actually be above the pre-pandemic levels.

The most popular destinations are Spain, Turkey, Greece and other tourist destinations.

Additional measures for the summer season

Increased travel and associated ramping up of all of the processes, involving many service providers and authorities, is presenting the aviation sector with major operational challenges.

“We have implemented many measures and are cooperating intensively with all of the partners. We have also hired additional staff for ground handling services,” says Thilo Schmid.

Thus, the team has been increased by around 100 new employees in comparison to summer 2021.

Furthermore, around 80 more employees are currently in the middle of the hiring process, waiting for security checks that are required in aviation.