Airport Nuremberg: Concept for Consolidation- Basis for a Safe Future

Press release no. 06/12

3.967 million passengers used Airport Nürnberg in the year 2011. This corresponds to a decrease by 2.6 percent, caused by the slump in the traditionally strong traffic with North Africa as well as lower numbers of transit passengers using the airberlin-hub. By realizing a concept for consolidation and a moderate increase in traffic numbers, Airport Nürnberg is aiming for a return to the profit zone by 2016/2017. `We’re pinning our hopes on sustainable qualitative growth at Airport Nürnberg,´ Managing Director Karl-Heinz Krüger says.

Traffic development
With a total of 3.967 million passengers (previous year: 4.074 million) the development of passenger figures fell short of expectations. The airport was unable to continue the moderately positive trend of the year before. The number of flight movements decreased from 70,780 to 67,700. Despite an overall negative balance, traffic originating in Nuremberg (passengers departing from Nuremberg) showed a plus of 1.4 percent. `An indication of the positive economic development in the metropolitan region,´ Krüger says.

Scheduled and holiday flights
Analogous to economic growth, scheduled flights rose by 2.2 percent to 2.210 million passengers. Decisive in this were transfer flights to large European hub airports. Lufthansa and SWISS increased their capacities significantly, KLM and Air France used bigger aircraft to Amsterdam and Paris and Turkish Airlines increased passenger numbers by offering higher frequencies during attractive daily fringe hours. Contrary to this trend, airberlin experienced a decrease in scheduled flight passengers.

Traditionally strong holiday traffic was considerably weaker with an increase of 7.8 percent to 1.723 million passengers. A crucial factor was the slump in traffic to Eqypt and Tunisia as a consequence of the `Arab Spring´. Airberlin’s pruning of the tourist hub also contributed: The number of transit passengers in the hub dropped by a total of 17 percent. There were positive changes, however, for TUIfly with a doubling of passenger numbers, as well as for Condor and Pegasus.

With regard to destinations it was particularly the Balearic Islands (with a plus of 13.9 percent), Greece and the Canary Islands which profited from the decreases in North African traffic.

Air freight/ cargo
Air freight traffic remained on last year’s level with 107,000 tons. The freight transported by air craft increased while trucked freight slightly declined.

Economic development and personnel
Analogous to declining traffic numbers the turnover of 94.691 million Euros lagged behind last year’s figure (96.621 million Euros). The deficit reported in the annual accounts for 2011 with reference to the budget is -8.4 million Euros. Managing Director Harry Marx: `Beside the influence of several special factors, the commercial group result for 2011 continues to be burdened particularly by the high capital charges resulting from the investments of the past years, from redevelopment measures and contingencies, and will continue to be burdened during the next few years. The consolidation scheme that has been introduced has the aim of enabling us to return to the profit zone by 2016/2017.´

In 2011, 940 persons were employed with Flughafen Nürnberg GmbH (FNG) and its affiliates, that is 37 fewer employees than the year before. At the airport site there is a total of 4,000 jobholders.

The general reconstruction of the 2,700 m long and 45 m wide runway remained the biggest cost pool of investments and accounts for about 20 million Euros over a period of five years. Among the larger measures is the refurbishment of the Mövenpick Restaurant and conference center for reasons of fire protection and the newly built baggage sorting and handling system. In addition, the site for the construction of a large hangar with an administrative building for the charter airline FAI was developed.

Prospects 2012
Essentially caused by airberlin’s `Shape & Size´ economy plan, it is becoming apparent that the current year will also face a further decline in passenger numbers. A new cooperation agreement signed with airberlin, however, will secure the hub’s existence until at least 2014/2015. For Airport Nürnberg this is of great significance as the hub with its roughly 1 million passengers per year represents an essential part of the core business.

Managing Director Karl-Heinz Krüger: `For 2012 we’re planning on a stable basis of 3.7 million passengers. On this basis we will have moderate qualitative growth of about 2 to 3 percent starting in 2013.´ The high quality of service, which has given Airport Nürnberg a good reputation far beyond the surrounding region, he says, is to be maintained. In this context, Krüger expressly welcomes initiatives by politicians and business people alike to create a development plan for the airport: `They are helping to create better surrounding conditions and underline the important function and significance of Airport Nürnberg for the people and the economy of the metropolitan region of Nuremberg.´

The two Managing Directors Karl-Heinz Krüger and Harry Marx are confident that Flughafen Nürnberg GmbH will emerge from this momentary slump in the medium term. They consider the cash contribution by the shareholders, the Free State of Bavaria and the City of Nuremberg, in the amount of 40 million Euros, together with the cooperation agreement with airberlin and the consolidation scheme as providing the necessary leverage. The consolidation will, among other things, provide for a considerable savings potential in personnel and nonpersonnel costs. Krüger: `By interlocking all these measures we see ourselves as being on the right path to a positive future.´

Press Contact:
Flughafen Nürnberg GmbH
Head of Media Relations
Christian Albrecht
Tel.: +49 911-937-1744