Over 100 airports on four continents are now actively managing their CO2 emissions through participation in Airport Carbon Accreditation, the carbon management standard developed by ACI EUROPE which celebrated its 5 year milestone at the Frankfurt congress. Of the 102 participants there are 85 airports certified in Europe, collectively handling 63% of Europe’s passenger traffic, including 16 that have achieved carbon neutrality. Olivier Jankovec, ACI EUROPE Director General, commented: “This past year, the collective efforts of European airports yielded a net reduction of more than 353,000 tonnes of CO2 – enough to power over 147,000 households for a year. We’re five years into this, with real momentum. We will keep going – seeking new efficiencies and innovation to reduce the airport industry’s carbon footprint and also expanding the geographical reach of the programme.”
The 24th ACI EUROPE General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition, hosted by Fraport, took place on 16-18 June. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Compelling Connectivity for our Cities, Regions and Europe’, and it attracted over 320 delegates from airports and ANSPs, as well as other aviation partners and the European Commission. Importantly, the Annual Congress saw the launch of ACI EUROPE’s Airport Connectivity Report 2004-2014, which highlights that the EU is falling behind in terms of air connectivity. The event also included a special announcement of the year 5 results for Airport Carbon Accreditation, while the gala dinner featured the 10th ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards.
The 25th ACI EUROPE General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition, hosted by Prague Airport, takes place from 24-26 June 2015.
Olivier Jankovec, ACI EUROPE Director General, provided a detailed analysis of the state of the industry. He explained that the progressive recovery of air traffic seen in 2013 has gathered further pace since the start of 2014, with passenger and freight traffic growing by +5.5% and +4.9% respectively. “As with any competitive industry, this is not a win-win for all. Several large airports have enjoyed a traffic boost this spring as low cost airlines are now clearly moving up market. However, these gains have often come at the expense of other secondary or regional airports,” Jankovec said. ACI EUROPE’s full-year forecast for 2014 is +3.5% passenger growth and +3% freight growth.
Arnaud Feist, President of ACI EUROPE and CEO of Brussels Airport, addressed Europe’s connectivity challenge. He announced the findings of ACI EUROPE’s Airport Industry Connectivity Report, which provides an in-depth analysis of connectivity in Europe over the past 10 years. “Given that aviation is a prime and unsurpassed enabler of global connectivity, airport connectivity has profound implications on the way in which economic growth is generated,” Feist commented.
The ACI EUROPE report reveals the serious and lasting impact of the 2008/2009 crisis on connectivity – in particular for the EU. The report also shows that while EU hubs have been more resilient than small and regional airports in terms of direct connectivity, they are now facing significant competition from hubs located in Turkey, the Gulf and to a lesser extent, Russia.
Dr Stefan Schulte, Chairman of the Executive Board, Fraport, highlighted the connectivity challenge, explaining that “flows of globally travelling passengers are bypassing Europe”. “We have a strong economic powerhouse in Europe, and European airports have a strong, wide catchment area. However, we as an industry have to face new social and political challenges.”
Delivering the industry keynote address, Harry Hohmeister, Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Lufthansa and CEO, Swiss International Air Lines, commented on the symbiotic relationship between airports and airlines: “If we want to keep jobs in Europe, we need a strong airport and airline environment. We accept the challenges of a liberalised market, but competition must be fair.”
The Airport Leaders Symposium was chaired by Catherine Mayer, Vice President, SITA, and panellists included Thomas Woldbye, CEO Copenhagen Airports; Augustin de Romanet, Chairman and CEO, Aéroports de Paris; Hartmut Mehdorn, CEO Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg; Evgeniy Chudnovskiy, CEO “Airports of Regions” Managing Company CJSC; and Arnaud Feist, CEO Brussels Airport. Issues raised included the importance of customer service, creating a hub function, and the importance of low cost carriers in driving growth.
The Airline Conversation was chaired by Peter Harbison, Chairman, CAPA, with panellists including Emmanuelle Maire, Head of Unit, Internal Aviation Market and Airports, European Commission; Dr Julio Rodriguez Contreras, Chief Commercial Officer, Vueling Airlines; Dr Alexis von Hoensbroech, Vice President Commercial Frankfurt, Lufthansa; and Dr Francesco Lo Passo, Advisor to AdR and Principal, The Brattle Group. The panellists concurred on the vital importance of connectivity, praising ACI EUROPE’s recently released study on the subject, and expressing concern that Europe is falling behind in terms of connectivity.
Andrew Lobbenberg, Director, HSBC, chaired The Investor Conversation, with the panel featuring Dr Matthias Zieschang, Member of the Executive Board and Executive Director Controlling and Finance, Fraport; David Stanton, Asset Director, Ontario Airports Investment Ltd; Holger Linkweiler, Managing Director, AviAlliance GmbH; and Michael McGhee, Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners. Each shared beliefs in the tangible benefits of connectivity, the common thread being a clear recognition that connectivity drives economic growth.
David Feldman, Managing Partner, Exambela, chaired the session on Connectivity Case Studies, which featured contributions from Jim O’Sullivan, Managing Director – Airports Division and Asset Management, Heathrow Airport Limited; Julian Jäger, COO Flughafen Wien; Michael Garvens, Chairman of the Management Board, Cologne/Bonn Airport; Dr Michael Kerkloh, President and CEO, Munich Airport; and Hlynur Sigurdsson, Terminal Manager, Keflavik Airport. The panellists shared evidence of connectivity benefiting their airports and regions, and agreed there is a strong correlation between connectivity and GDP per capita, foreign direct investment, and tourism.
A Special Working Session focused on Connectivity and the Retail Dividend: Chaired by Philippe Guitelmann, Worldwide Travel Retail Director, Guerlain, the panel discussion featured Anke Giesen, Member of the Executive Board and Executive Director, Fraport; Donatienne de Fontaines-Guillaume, Managing Director Travel Retail, Moët Hennessy Europe; Stéphanie Griffiths, Director of Strategic Development, Future Foundation; and Markus Ettlin, Head of Central Marketing, Gebr. Heinemann. The panel shared innovative ways in which they are all seeking to maximise spend among Chinese and other world travellers. It was agreed that is vital to foster collaboration between all stakeholders – airport, airline, retailer and brand, to use technology to improve the retail experience, and to prioritise customer service.
The exhibition featured a diverse mix of innovative supplier and service providers, as well as a valuable platform for networking opportunities.
The ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards 2014 were presented at the gala dinner. The winners were: London City Airport (under 5 million passengers), Stuttgart Airport (5-10 million passengers), Athens International Airport (10-25 million passengers), Barcelona Airport (over 25 million passengers), and Oslo Airport (Eco-Innovation Award).