Flughafen Zürich AG generates a profit in the first half of 2022
Traffic volumes at Zurich Airport recovered significantly after travel restrictions and preventive measures were lifted at the beginning of the first half of the year. The upturn is also reflected in the key financial figures: the airport operator generated consolidated profit of CHF 55.4 million in the first half of 2022.
After travel restrictions were lifted in February 2022, passenger numbers rose sharply, and commercial operations also continued to recover. Total revenue came to CHF 458.3 million in the first half of 2022 (an increase of 74% on 2021 and 78% of the 2019 figure). Revenue from aviation operations increased by CHF 140.4 million year on year to CHF 205.9 million. Non-aviation revenue climbed by CHF 54.3 million to CHF 252.4 million. Compared with the previous year, operating expenses were up by CHF 48.7 million to CHF 220.1 million; compared with 2019, however, the adjusted cost base is still 11% lower.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by CHF 146.1 million year on year to CHF 238.3 million. Compared with the first half of 2019, EBITDA was at 78%. This resulted in a consolidated profit of CHF 55.4 million in the first half of 2022 compared with a loss of CHF 45.1 million in the prior-year period.
Traffic volumes and route network
Between January and June 2022, a total of 9.1 million passengers used Zurich Airport as their departure, transfer or destination airport, more than a fourfold increase on the prior-year period (61% of the 2019 figure). The number of flight movements climbed by 136% year on year to 97,127 take-offs and landings in the first half of 2022 (71% of the 2019 figure). The volume of freight handled increased by 20% to 216,334 tonnes (96% of the 2019 figure).
The first half of the year saw the addition of three new destinations to the route network from Zurich, namely Bologna, Nates and Vilnius. In addition, Air Montenegro became a new airline flying to Zurich, and Delta Airlines and Royal Jordanian reinstated services to Zurich. In total, there were flights to 181 destinations in the first half of the year, which almost equals the pre-pandemic offering.
Significant recovery in commercial operations
The increase in turnover from Zurich Airport’s commercial partners was very encouraging. Various new stores were opened and restaurant units refurbished in both Airport Shopping and the Airside Center. The start of the year saw the opening of the Alpine Garden capsule hotel opposite Check-in 1, and the Circle is now home to 46 companies with around 5,000 employees. Along with the opening of two restaurants and a racing lounge offering virtual motor racing experiences, a further three companies from a variety of sectors concluded rental contracts for office or hospitality spaces during the first half of the year.
Investments and large-scale projects
In June, the winning project was selected for the construction of the new Dock A, including tower and dock base at the Zurich site. The majority of the building will be constructed from locally sourced sustainable timber. Moreover, the entire roof space will be used for photovoltaics, meeting around two-thirds of the building’s own annual electricity requirement. The new Dock A will thus make a major contribution to Flughafen Zürich AG’s ambitious CO2 reduction strategy. Construction work on the dock and dock base is scheduled to start in 2030 and the investments are estimated at around CHF 700 million. June saw the signing of the construction contract for the international airport in Noida, India. This was shortly followed by the initial preparatory construction work. Around CHF 750 million will be invested in development and construction, with the airport scheduled to open at the end of 2024.
Flughafen Zürich AG is now aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040. In declaring this ambitious goal – to be achieved without offsetting – the airport operator is bringing the target date forward by ten years with a reduction roadmap setting out concrete measures to increase energy efficiency and cut fuel consumption.
Both flight operations and commercial centres remain on an upward trajectory. As the recovery progresses, Flughafen Zürich AG believes that passenger numbers at the Zurich site will likely rise to slightly more than 20 million passengers this year, roughly two-thirds of the 2019 figure.