TRANSPORT

Summer rebound for air travel

summer-rebound-for-air-travel

Air travel will see a dynamic rebound as of this summer if restrictions on cross-border movement continue to be lifted, estimates Stefan Schulte, the head of Fraport AG, the parent company of Fraport Greece which manages the country’s 14 biggest regional airports.

He spoke to the press on Friday at the presentation of the local consortium’s 2020 financial results, saying that the current crisis has been the biggest of all time for air transport. He did declare, however, that “we can now clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel.” He added that “we are certain, or so we hope at least, that passenger traffic will recover soon and that we have been past the worst points of the crisis.”

To illustrate his estimates, he stressed that “in all cases where restrictions are relaxed, bookings take off,” and cited the example of Majorca, where the number of air seat bookings jumped as soon as incoming flights were allowed.

“The traffic associated with recreational trips, especially in Europe, will recover in a much speedier and stronger fashion than in other regions,” he forecast, “because there is a great deal of concentrated demand,” so “from the summer we will see a strong rebound.”

Last year Fraport Greece suffered turnover losses of 278.4 million euros, ending the year with turnover at €185 million against €463.4 million in 2019, which constitutes a 60.1% fall. The company’s operating profits before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization dropped even more, 92.4%, to come to €12.9 million, against €170.4 million in 2019. The net result was losses of €108.3 million, from earnings of €17.5 million the year before.

The number of passengers who passed through the 14 regional airports that Fraport manages shrank 71.4% to 8,611,780, of whom 5,994,180 were international flight passengers, who dropped by 74.2%. Therefore the company employed 35 fewer people last year.

Earlier this year Fraport Greece completed its investment program in Greece, amounting to €440 million, concerning the renovation and development of new infrastructure and services at the 14 airports.