4.5 million passengers - a record year in 2018 and new challenges for 2019

Press release Nr. 03/2019

Managing Director Dr. Michael Hupe in front of the airport building. Source: Airport Nuremberg/ Luca Eberhardt

2018 was the most successful year in the 64-year history of Albrecht Dürer Airport Nürnberg: it set a new record of 4.46 million passengers (an increase of 6.7 percent on 2017). The previous record of 4.27 million was set in 2008. The group's turnover is now well over €100 million and the annual net profit is also at an all-time high of over €4.1 million.

The 2018 flight schedule included eight new summer destinations and six new winter destinations. A total of 16 airlines regularly flew nonstop from Nuremberg to more than 70 destinations, including ten international hub airports. The increase in passenger numbers was accompanied by significantly improved market penetration in the core catchment area and increased incoming traffic. “This development has helped the airport to bring purchasing power to the region,” says Managing Director Dr Michael Hupe. “The hotel statistics are a clear indicator of this.”

Traffic growth

With almost 4.5 million passengers, Nuremberg Airport recorded more passengers in 2018 than ever before. One of the key factors for this growth was a 27.9 percent improvement in tourism traffic, which reached 1.4 million passengers. This growth in turn was driven by increased numbers of flights on the part of Germania (around 479,000 passengers) and Eurowings (around 204,000), as well as a revival of demand for flights to and from Turkey (Antalya has historically been very popular). The number of flights to Palma de Mallorca was also significantly higher than in previous years. As a result, August 2018 was the first month in which more than half a million passengers used Albrecht Dürer Airport. Dr Hupe was surprised by the growth of the Antalya route: “This development, the number of flight delays and the very hot summer really put the flexibility and efficiency of our employees to the test,” he says, “so my thanks go to them for coping so well!”

A total of 2,998,757 passengers flew on scheduled services in 2018. This represents a slight decrease (0.9 percent) on the previous year. Despite the growth driven by Ryanair, Turkish Airlines, Germania and other scheduled airlines, it was not possible to compensate for the losses caused by the insolvency of airberlin completely. Ryanair's passenger numbers increased by 9.0 percent to reach around 960,000. The airline’s high share of incoming traffic (50 percent on some routes) is particularly noteworthy. Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings carried around 483,000 passengers (a drop of 3.0 percent) on scheduled services, while Lufthansa itself carried around 396,000 passengers (a drop of 3.5 percent). Another Lufthansa subsidiary, Swiss, recorded increased passenger numbers, as did Turkish Airlines, Air France, KLM and Vueling. Wizz Air recorded a slight fall.

In 2018, Albrecht Dürer Airport Nuremberg recorded around 66,000 flight movements, which represents an increase of 3.1 percent. The number of take-offs and landings therefore grew at a slower rate than the number of passengers.

Air freight traffic (flown freight excluding trucking) grew by 2.7 percent to reach 8,300 tonnes.

Economic development

Flughafen Nürnberg GmbH (including its subsidiaries) generated a turnover of €109.6 million and closed the 2018 financial year with positive earnings of €4.1 million after tax. This represents an improvement in earnings of €1.4 million on the previous year. EBITDA amounted to €17.9 million. Investments (€8.5 million) were fully financed by the operating cash flow of €19.0 million. “Given the insolvency of airberlin, the developments in profit and turnover are very pleasing,” says Dr Hupe. By refinancing in the summer of 2018, the group was able to significantly reduce its financing costs and is well equipped for investing in the near future.

The increase in traffic has meant that the group has taken on more employees. They played their part in the success of 2018 by ensuring an relaxing experience for passengers at the airport. A total of over 1,000 employees are now employed by the group as a whole. The number of persons employed at the airport rose to around 4,100.

Outlook

After above-average growth in recent years and the irregularities of summer 2018, the focus in the new year will be to stabilise operations and existing connections. It is also important to compensate for the loss of Germania, which announced its insolvency early this year. Germania was NUE's best-represented tourist airline in 2018 and offered interesting scheduled destinations. Increased flights by TUIfly and Lauda/Ryanair have meant that a large proportion of Germania’s flights are already covered for summer 2019. The airport is currently in intensive dialogue with relevant airlines and tour operators. It is therefore to be expected that many of the gaps in the winter 2019/2020 flight schedule will have also been covered by the end of October.

This year’s biggest investment is the construction of a new multi-storey car park. P4 will house around 3,600 cars and will be located near the airport roundabout. In Departure Hall 2, preparations are underway for a supermarket, which will make Nuremberg Airport even more attractive to passengers and visitors.

Annual Report 2018

The Annual Report 2018, which features comprehensive facts and figures, as well as a five-year overview, is now available for download at www.airport-nuernberg.de/geschaeftsberichte.

The report is only available in German.