Zurich Airport sees 85 percent fewer passengers than in 2019
Despite the recent easing of travel restrictions, Zurich Airport saw 85 percent fewer passengers in the first six months of 2021, compared with the same period in 2019.
Half-year loss of 45 million Swiss francs at Zurich Airport
One of the largest airports in Switzerland, Zurich has seen minimal recovery since travel restrictions were lifted to some destinations over the summer. The latest figures released by the airport show that around 2,1 million passengers flew to or from Zurich between January and June 2021, a decrease of 60,5 percent from 2020 and a decrease of 85 percent compared with the same period in 2019.
Despite recording an increase in cargo flights, the number of flight movements decreased by 32 percent in 2021. As the world wrestled with COVID-19 in the first half of 2021, there was only a few select moments where international travel was affordable and possible.
As a result, Zurich Airport has invested heavily into real estate for business and international companies, most notably the new “Circle” real estate and commercial expansion near the terminal building. The airport did find income by selling retail and commercial spaces in the Circle, but that alone could not sustain the business with reduced demand. This has resulted in a half-year net loss of 45,1 million Swiss francs.
Investment and hope for increased demand at Zurich Airport
Despite these losses, Zurich Airport has said that air passenger traffic has begun to increase over the summer. It is hoped that if the global situation remains stable, passenger numbers will increase to 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. This is the agreed goal and profit threshold set by the company.
In the meantime, the airport has committed to 220 million Swiss francs of investment into upgrades, including an expansion of the baggage sorting system. It has also said that adhering to new climate regulations is one of its main priorities for the future, with the CEO of Flughafen Zurich AG saying that the airport aims to be CO2 neutral by 2050.