Despite the difficulties caused by the corona pandemic, Cologne/Bonn Airport closed the 2021 financial year better than expected and achieved a significantly better annual result than in 2020.
Although it is still minus 14,5 million euros, the loss was more than halved compared to the previous year (2020: -31,1 million euros). In the end, the annual result is more than 10 million euros better than planned (plan: -24,7 million euros). Revenues increased by more than 18 percent to EUR 246,3 million in the past financial year (2020: EUR 208,4 million). The airport was one of the few German airports to consistently generate a positive operating result (EBITDA) despite the pandemic, amounting to EUR 32,6 million in the second year of the pandemic. In 2020, the EBITDA was 6,1 million euros.
“Thanks to the efforts of the entire team, the airport is coming out of the crisis well. Both traffic segments are developing positively this year, so that the company will return to profitability as early as 2022," says Thilo Schmid, CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH. "This year we are also focusing on the consistent pursuit of our sustainability activities."
The freight business - an important stabilizer during the pandemic - developed positively again in 2021 and even achieved a new annual record at 986.000 tons (+14 percent). After a difficult first half of the year, there was a visible recovery in passenger traffic in 2021 from the middle of the year. Ultimately, however, the figures were far below expectations. A total of 4,3 million passengers used the airport (+38 percent) - around a third of the pre-crisis level in 2019.
After a setback at the turn of the year due to the Omikron wave, the recovery trend in passenger traffic will continue noticeably in 2022, according to the airport in a press release. A further recovery is expected in the upcoming summer months. The airport assumes that the number of passengers will more than double in 2022 and rise to around 9 million passengers. There are also big goals in freight: "We are optimistic that we will be able to break through the one million ton mark," continues Thilo Schmid.
More than a million passengers again for the first time during the holidays
In the summer, there will be almost 1.000 starts per week again - almost as many as before the pandemic. 23 airlines fly to 117 destinations in 34 different countries from Cologne/Bonn. In all probability, there will be months with more than 1 million passengers again in summer - for the first time since October 2019. During the holidays, the airport expects 1,75 million passengers, which corresponds to approx. 86 percent of the pre-crisis level. On some days, the volume is even above the pre-crisis level. The most popular destinations are Spain, Turkey, Greece and other tourist destinations.