An innovation in airport strategy


Geneva International Airport is opening up a new avenue by considering segmenting its airport services in the form of two separate terminals, reflecting the profound changes taking place in the aviation market. At its meeting of 12 December 2003, the Management Board of the Airport gave the green light to an in-depth study on the new strategic orientation, the aim of which is make Geneva and its surrounding region even more attractive.

Geneva International Airport’s drive to adapt
In its desire to fulfil its task of serving the public, and to serve the interests of the various communities that make up the economic and social fabric of its catchment area (multinationals and SMEs, international Geneva, ethnic traffic, general public, etc.), Geneva International Airport aims to seek solutions that allow the various forms of aviation to express themselves best in their response to market expectations and to enhance the attractiveness of Geneva and of its surrounding region.

It should be remembered that the Airport receives about half of its income from a range of aeronautical charges, the main ones being landing fees (which this project does not address, because all airlines are invoiced identically for use of the runway) and departure tax. The latter, as its name indicates, is paid by passengers and is not charged to the airlines, which collect the tax on behalf of airports. It is shown under a separate heading on air tickets in addition to the price of the air transport. The tax, which covers the use of airport terminal installations and security checks, is currently CHF 19 at Geneva International Airport - a very competitive tariff level for Europe.

Two terminals offering differentiated services within the airport
Specifically, the idea would be to put the old terminal, built in 1948, back into service in two years time, i.e. at the end of 2005, so as to offer simplified services by offering basic ground services at a lower cost to Geneva International Airport than at the main terminal. Users, i.e. passengers, would thus benefit from a lower departure tax.

The choice would be open, subject to the limits on physical capacity of the airport installations, to all airlines to service their flights in either of the two terminals depending on their approach to the market and the level of services offered to passengers (consistency between the airport product and the airline services upstream and downstream).

An innovative approach still to be proven
Geneva International Airport is taking an innovative approach in the airport sector. Like any new venture, it is accompanied by questions and concerns that must be addressed as part of a broad information campaign and of consultation with all airlines and with passengers.

It is a far-reaching project, the technical, economic and legal feasibility of which still has to be proven. The Management Board will announce a decision when the time comes on these points before confirming that the strategy will be implemented.

Geneva International Airport at the service of all the airlines
Geneva International Airport is a public establishment operated under the rules of a commercial enterprise. As such, it receives no public subsidies and covers all its operating and investment costs from its own aeronautical and commercial revenues. Furthermore, half of its profits are repaid to the State. Because of its public service mission, Geneva International Airport is especially attached to the principle of equality of treatment of airlines and of non-discrimination. It also complies scrupulously with civil aviation directives and regulations, especially where Swiss and international tariffs are concerned, and also in respect of transparency and consultation.

The new approach envisaged fits fully into that approach and will succeed only if all the current rules are respected.

Geneva International Airport does not intend to give preference to any one concept of aviation over any other, because it is convinced that they complement each other and considers that its task is to serve equitably all the airlines, whose diversity and dynamism contribute to the richness and effectiveness of the air network that links Geneva and its surrounding region to the rest of the world.