1. GA-English

Fewer passengers: Cologne/Bonn Airport lands knee-deep in red figures

Fewer passengers : Cologne/Bonn Airport lands knee-deep in red figures

Cologne/Bonn Airport has landed deeply in the red. According to an airport spokesperson, a loss of 19.9 million Euro is expected for the current year. Airport CEO Johan Vanneste explains the losses with the problems of airlines such as Condor, among others.

North Rhine-Westphalia's second largest airport, Cologne Bonn Airport, has landed in deep red figures. Flughafen Köln Bonn GmbH announced on Tuesday that in 2019 the company is expected to generate a loss of 19.9 million Euro. The clear shortfall is to remain a one off occurrance - in 2018 there was still a profit of almost one million Euro. By 2020, business is expected to be profitable again. According to the forecast, the number of passengers will fall this year by five percent to 12.3 million.

Airport boss Johan Vanneste justified this year's losses by saying that airlines such as Condor, Laudamotion and Norwegian are no longer heading for the Rhenish landing site, and that Eurowings also cut some connections. Vanneste also referred to the weak global economy, which means less freight is shipped, and to financial burdens of 10 million euros from early retirement schemes and partial retirement programmes - the money should lead to a long-term reduction in personnel costs.

There are still problems with ground handling services, such as baggage and cargo handling. According to the figures, these businesses are loss-making this year, which will not change in 2020 either. The top management of the airport in talks with employee representatives insisted that "a compromise solution" for competitive ground handling services had to be found.

The airport belongs to the public sector, the main shareholders being the City of Cologne, the State of NRW and the Federal Government. The company has around 1800 employees, and including other companies, a total of around 15,000 people work at the airport.

(Original text: GA Bonn / Translation: Mareike Graepel)