Year-end press conference 2009: Berlin Airports successfully defies the global financial crisis

18.12.09 00:00
Almost 21 million passengers in 2009 / Increase in turnover and result / BBI topping-out ceremony, fee talks and non-aviation contracts in 2010 / €1 billion threshold exceeded for contracts awarded to regional construction companies
Many reports from the aviation sector in 2009 were along the lines of: “Aviation industry on the verge of collapse”, “Desire to travel on the decline”. The story at Berlin Airports, however, is very different:

Berlin Airports defies the crisis

“We reacted swiftly and consistently to the global financial crisis with our cost-cutting programme Herkules. Considering the macroeconomic environment, 2009 was therefore an excellent year for Berlin Airports. We remain on course for success”, said Dr. Rainer Schwarz, CEO of Berlin Airports, at the company’s year-end press conference.

With traffic figures stable, Berlin Airports is able to break away from the negative trend of German and European airports. 1,695,294 passengers were recorded in November – a year-on-year increase of 4 per cent. All in all, a total of 19.4 million passengers were handled in the first 11 months of 2009 (-2.4 per cent).

Schwarz is expecting almost 21 million passengers to take off and land at the Berlin airports this year: “Passenger figures are verging on the record level of 2008, despite the strong decline in January and February this year. With a forecast drop of around two per cent, this will be the seventh year in a row that we have fared much better than the average German airport.”

Increase in turnover and pre-tax result

Due to the good traffic result and the cost-cutting programme Herkules, Berlin Airports also manages to achieve its financial goals in 2009. Turnover increases by around 10 per cent to €280 million, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) by around 15 per cent to €90 million. Since 2005, the company has therefore almost doubled its cash flow and thus reported a significant increase in productivity.

Biggest infrastructure financing operation in Europe stemmed

Continued success in the year just ended: by securing total funding for BBI, Berlin Airports was able to get  the biggest infrastructure financing operation currently in Europe off the ground, despite the huge liquidity squeeze on the financial market. Total funding for BBI amounts to €2.4 billion. The largest loan provider is the European Investment Bank (EIB), which will be granting €1 billion of the total amount. The KfW IPEX Bank, the Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB) and the Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) are each granting €310 million to the BBI funding programme. Also involved are the Landesbank Berlin and Norddeutsche Landesbank (€150 million each), the DZ Bank (€100 million) and the Berliner Volksbank (€70 million).

€1 billion for the region

The construction of the airport is already a success story for the local economy two years prior to the opening of the new Capital Airport BBI. Almost 300 companies from the Berlin-Brandenburg region have been able to secure contracts for BBI during the awarding processes held so far. With the contracts awarded to B+P Gerüstbau GmbH, Wandlitz (scaffolding management and building logistics), and Eckard Garbe GmbH, Berlin (parks), the €1 billion threshold for contracts awarded to regional companies is exceeded.

“This year has seen BBI rise up from the ground and take on the shape of an airport. Every day, we are one step closer to becoming the airport of the future. This success is also based on the SMEs in Berlin and Brandenburg, for 62 per cent of all building contracts were awarded to companies in the region”, said Manfred Körtgen, BBI/Technical Director at Berlin Airports.

BBI milestones

The development of the new Capital Airport BBI is coming along in leaps and bounds. Berlin Airports will celebrate the topping-out ceremony this spring together with all the companies involved and people in the region. Körtgen: “We aim to use the topping-out ceremony to present the terminal to the public. The completed structural work will provide a good idea of the work that has been carried out since the groundbreaking ceremony in September 2006 and of the bright and friendly welcome the future Capital Airport will extend to its passengers.”

Outlook: key steps towards realising the new airport

BBI test runs: Prior to the opening of BBI on 30 October 2011, all processes will be tested intensively during a six-month test run: baggage carousels will be warmed up, check-in desks manned for testing purposes, security checkpoints tested and all imaginable scenarios simulated. Starting in early 2011, Berlin Airports will also look for extras to put the new Capital Airport through its paces.

Berlin’s biggest relocation project: During the night of 29 October 2011, the spectacular move will take place. Two will become one: the airports Tegel and Schoenefeld will close in the evening and all portable equipment, machines and installations will be moved to the new Capital Airport overnight, where the first charter plane will take off on the morning of 30 October 2011.

BBI fees: In setting the fees for the future Capital Airport, Berlin Airports is planning the next steps for 2010. Firstly, bilateral talks will be held with the airlines before an agreement is reached with associations and authorities. This is designed to create a fees and charges system that reflects the range of different traffic at the Berlin airports.

Non-aviation: This week saw Gebr. Heinemann KG become the first tenant in the new Capital Airport BBI and the future operator of duty free/duty paid space. Heinemann was able to beat the competition with a strong regional focus in terms of its range and shop concept. The regional aspect will also play an important role when it comes to awarding gastronomy and shopping space, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2010.

Hannes Stefan Hönemann

Hannes Stefan Hönemann Head of Corporate

+49 30 6091-70100

Daniel Tolksdorf

Daniel Tolksdorf Spokesperson

+49 30 6091-70100

Kathrin Westhölter

Kathrin Westhölter Spokesperson

+49 30 6091-70100