Switzerland’s busiest airport has postponed building a new terminal and frozen investments for three years due to the coronavirus, its chief executive officer Stephan Widrig said on Friday. Zurich and Geneva airports saw huge drops in the number of passengers and flights last year.This content was published on January 15, 2021 - 16:50
2020 was a “unique year for aviation” due to the collapse in air traffic, Widrig told the CH-Media group in an interview. “We have cut costs and investments and cut jobs. We have also decided not to pay a dividend and have raised capital.”
He said 2021 would be a difficult year, but the CEO of Switzerland’s biggest airport hopes to get by without resorting to state aid.
“We are postponing projects which are at an early planning stage for 3-5 years and others which are aimed at improving passenger movement,” he said. These should affect the construction of a new airport terminal.
The Covid pandemic caused a historic 73% drop in the number of passengers passing through Zurich Airport last year to 8.3 million, compared to 2019. Flight movements slumped 60%, the airport said on January 13External link.
Geneva Airport reported similar figures on Thursday. It suffered a 68.8% drop in passenger traffic in 2020. The number of flight movements fell by 54%. In all, 5.6 million passengers passed through the airport in western Switzerland. It does not expect a return to the pre-pandemic passenger levels before 2024.