Letter from the Executive Board
The coronavirus crisis has hit the global aviation industry and all the related sectors of the economy very hard. Here at Munich Airport, we have experienced the sharp decrease in air traffic and its ripple effects across all business units up close and personal. At the start of the pandemic, urgently needed face masks, respirators, and medical goods were transported through the Munich hub. Then, in early 2021, we also started to see movements of the long-awaited vaccines. We are happy to be able to make an important social contribution to overcoming this crisis in this way, and we will continue to do so.
As expected, a look at the balance sheet for the past financial year paints a less positive picture. With revenue of around 580 million euros, we generated 63 percent less in 2020 than in the previous year. The resulting loss totals 321.4 million euros. The outstanding results and reserves built in the years leading up to the crisis have helped us to safeguard the company’s liquidity in spite of the ongoing tough overall conditions.
Traffic figures tell a similarly dramatic story: Flight movements plunged by nearly 65 percent, at about 147,000 take-offs and landings. Just 11.1 million passengers – some 77 percent less than in 2019 – passed through Munich Airport. That means we posted lower values in 2020 than in 1992, the year Munich Airport started out in the new Erdinger Moos location. Our shops, restaurants, and parking structures were also subject to the far-reaching restrictions and closures, and we saw huge losses of revenue there as well.
There is every indication that the years ahead will be challenging as well. Global traffic volumes are not projected to return to 2019 levels until 2024 at the earliest. The hoped-for recovery already did not materialize in early 2021. To keep Munich Airport on track and make it even more efficient, we developed the «Restart» program. Our aim is to adjust personnel capacity to the changes in overall conditions in the coming years with as little adverse social impact as possible. To this end, we offer our staff a volunteer program and attractive early retirement arrangements. Our staff’s demographic structure favors this approach.
We are continuing to pursue a consistent cost-cutting approach and reviewing all investments and expenses on an ongoing basis. We are, however, abiding by key strategic plans. For example, we are continuing to drive the optimization of the rail connection, the climate action program, and quality-oriented maintenance and further development of the infrastructure as part of our five-star approach and the sustainable development of the Munich hub. Beyond that, we aim to help shape a sustainable future for the aviation sector by working with our airline partners to promote the use of synthetic, climate-neutral fuels at the airport site.
Right now, it is difficult to impossible to gauge when the coronavirus crisis will end and the «new normal» will begin. But one thing I can say at this point: Munich Airport will retain its position as an important hub in a strong region. I am especially pleased that amid this crisis, the most severe we have experienced to date, we can rely on our most important partner, the Lufthansa Group. Lufthansa is standing by its five-star hub in Munich. The other airlines represented at Munich Airport also value this location and plan to resume offering pre-crisis service as soon as possible.
As we look to the future, we are naturally counting on advances in vaccination campaigns around the world and on significant expansion of testing. With these factors in place, we hope to see a noticeable recovery in flight movements and passenger figures over the course of this year. The safety and health of our customers, passengers, and employees continue to come first, as always.
Speaking for myself and on behalf of Andrea Gebbeken and Thomas Weyer as well, I would like to thank everyone who, through tireless hard work and dedication, motivation, loyalty, and willingness to change, is helping each and every day to keep Munich Airport on track amid the biggest crisis ever to strike civil aviation.