Friedrichshafen needs almost 30 million euros

Photo: Friedrichshafen Airport.
Photo: Friedrichshafen Airport.

Friedrichshafen needs almost 30 million euros

Photo: Friedrichshafen Airport.
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Friedrichshafen Airport underscores its importance for the Lake Constance region with an expert opinion drawn up by the Roland Berger law firm. Since the beginning of June 2020, it has been commissioned to prepare a study on the future of the airport.

The sustainability and thus the future development of traffic in Friedrichshafen should be checked. The special focus was on evaluating strategic options for action and the related financial requirements and fundamentally checking whether the airport can be operated economically in its current form.

This ambitious and complex investigation was intensively processed in the short period of time up to the shareholders' meeting at the end of August 2020. The clear result was presented to the FFG committees - supervisory board and shareholders - with a clear recommendation. The results and recommendations for resolutions must now be presented, discussed and decided upon in the committees of the airport's important shareholders. A joint information event held yesterday by the local council and district council served as a prelude to this.

The analyzes and investigations by Roland Berger were very in-depth and comprehensive despite the tight schedule. The results are as follows:

  • The airport has already mastered crises and setbacks (airline insolvencies, etc.) well in the past. The constant demand for flight services is resiliently around half a million (500.000) passengers.
  • The recovery of air traffic will be slow, depending on the course of the pandemic. Measures to improve the annual operating result (EBITDA) are being taken.
  • This is an optimization of the current status quo in the aviation sector. The existing traffic mix of business travel, tourism and VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) must be expanded in a targeted manner. In the so-called non-aviation area, revenues are to be increased through defined project proposals and a contribution to improving results is to be made with a cost-saving package.
  • The paramount importance of the airport as an efficient transport infrastructure was clearly confirmed. The region needs the airport. This applies primarily to business and industrial companies in the entire region, but also to the high demand for tourist destinations. Due to the lack of transport links by road and rail, which will not improve significantly in the future, the airport is the best "gateway" to reach Europe and intercontinental destinations quickly. Clear evidence of the extraordinary importance of a functioning airport for the Lake Constance-Oberschwaben region is the calculation of gross value added as part of an investigation into regional economic importance. The annual gross value added in the region is 56 million euros. Nationwide, this is even at 86 million euros. In contrast, a closure of the airport after deducting all existing liabilities would generate only a small, one-off revenue.
  • The airport has already mastered crises and setbacks (airline insolvencies, etc.) well in the past. The constant demand for flight services is resiliently around half a million (500.000) passengers.
  • The recovery of air traffic will be slow, depending on the course of the pandemic. Measures to improve the annual operating result (EBITDA) are being taken.
  • This is an optimization of the current status quo in the aviation sector. The existing traffic mix of business travel, tourism and VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) must be expanded in a targeted manner. In the so-called non-aviation area, revenues are to be increased through defined project proposals and a contribution to improving results is to be made with a cost-saving package.
  • The paramount importance of the airport as an efficient transport infrastructure was clearly confirmed. The region needs the airport. This applies primarily to business and industrial companies in the entire region, but also to the high demand for tourist destinations. Due to the lack of transport links by road and rail, which will not improve significantly in the future, the airport is the best "gateway" to reach Europe and intercontinental destinations quickly. Clear evidence of the extraordinary importance of a functioning airport for the Lake Constance-Oberschwaben region is the calculation of gross value added as part of an investigation into regional economic importance. The annual gross value added in the region is 56 million euros. Nationwide, this is even at 86 million euros. In contrast, a closure of the airport after deducting all existing liabilities would generate only a small, one-off revenue.

The funds are distributed over the individual years and will have to be raised by the shareholders and the airport through various financing instruments. This includes compensation for the financial damage caused by the Corona crisis, subsidized by public funds. Private equity and debt financing are also part of the necessary financing. Temporary restructuring aid will make up a larger part.

The next step will be to examine whether the restructuring aid must lead to a restructuring plan that may be required under state aid law. In addition to the committee meetings, these reviews will continue to be pursued. The European and German regulations for the approval of subsidies / grants are observed throughout the financing process. Clarification with the responsible authorities is still pending.

“In the short time available, the possible strategic options of the airport and the related financial requirements were worked out with great effort. The airport also had to deal with critical aspects and considerations from downsizing to closing down the business.

The result confirms the previous orientation and rewards the careful handling of the employees with the limited financial resources. I am therefore pleased that Roland Berger underlines the importance of the airport for the region and recommends that operations continue. The results of the investigations will be reflected in the political committees in the coming weeks and a decision will be made. It is important for the region and the employees here to get clarity about the further procedure and for the near future. My thanks go to the entire workforce for the efficient operation of the airport in these difficult times, to our committees for providing critical support to the report and to the authors of the report, ”said Claus-Dieter Wehr, Managing Director of Flughafen Friedrichshafen GmbH.

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Editor of this article:

Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

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About the editor

Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

Nobody likes paywalls
- not even Aviation.Direct!

Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

In doing so, you support the journalistic work of our independent specialist portal for aviation, travel and tourism with a focus on the DA-CH region voluntarily without a paywall requirement.

If you did not like the article, we look forward to your constructive criticism and / or your suggestions for improvement, either directly to the editor or to the team at with this link or alternatively via the comments.

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