Global travel restrictions and flight cancellations related to COVID-19 have strongly affected the traffic and earnings development of Flughafen Wien Group (Vienna Airport, Malta Airport, Kosice Airport) since March 2020.
In Q1 2020, passenger numbers were down 18.6% in Flughafen Wien Group and 18.8% at Vienna Airport. Meanwhile, revenue was down by 9% and earnings by 36.6%. The full impact of COVID-19 hit in April, with traffic declines of 99.6% across Flughafen Wien Group and 99.5% at Vienna Airport. Cost reduction measures and a short-time work model have secured the company’s liquidity.
“The COVID-19 crisis has shaken the global economy and has massively impacted the country’s economic landscape and tourism industry, as well as Vienna as an aviation hub,” explains Günther Ofner, Member of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG. “This unprecedented crisis without parallel in the history of aviation poses major challenges to Flughafen Wien AG. The company is well equipped, and in any case Vienna Airport will succeed in surviving this crisis, thanks to the initiated cost-saving and liquidity safeguard measures such as short-time work for all employees, cost reductions and postponement of large-scale investments. At present it is hardly possible to predict how long this phase will continue and how the year 2020 as a whole will develop. However, the regular cargo flights with medical supplies, the repatriation and scheduled flights for passengers returning home and last but not least the high demand for our COVID-19 PCR tests at the airport clearly show that air transport is absolutely essential.”
“The worldwide COVID-19 crisis has also hit Vienna Airport hard,” states Julian Jäger, Member of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG. “Passenger volume has fallen substantially. At the present time there are only a few scheduled and cargo flights. Initial announcements of the airlines with respect to the summer season make us cautiously optimistic. However, it will take some time until the aviation sector reaches the same level as it did over the past few years. But the aviation sector will also take off once again after COVID-19 as it did in the aftermath of past crises such as 9/11, Ebola and SARS. This is because demand does exist, and air travel is the lifeline of the economy. A high-performance airport hub with a strong network carrier and a multifaceted offering of long-haul flights and point-to-point destinations is essential to the entire business and tourism location.”
Q1 2020: 18.8% fewer passengers at Vienna Airport
Passenger volumes increased in January and February 2020. In contrast, traffic development showed a downward development in March as a result of COVID-19 and the related travel and contact restrictions.
In the period January to March 2020, Flughafen Wien Group including the foreign strategic investments in Malta Airport and Kosice Airport reported a drop in the number of passengers handled by 18.6% to six million. The number of passengers at Vienna Airport fell by 18.8% year-on-year to 4.9 million. Malta Airport registered a 16.1% decrease to one million travellers. Kosice Airport handled 50,000 passengers in the same period, down 40.6% from the previous year.