The health crisis continued, but more passengers in 2021


17.01.2022

In 2021, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, passenger traffic remained well below pre-crisis levels. However, thanks to a marked recovery in the second half of the year, Genève Aéroport welcomed 5.92 million passengers in 2021 compared to 5.60 million passengers in 2020. Financially, Genève Aéroport will announce in March a new significant loss for the past financial year, although lower than that of 2020.

Over the whole of 2021, Genève Aéroport welcomed 5’923’026 passengers, i.e. 5.8% more than in 2020, but 67.0% less than in 2019, due to the pandemic which has strongly affected the air transport industry. After a first half-year with barely 13% of pre-crisis passenger traffic, the second half of the year saw a marked upturn in traffic from July until the appearance of the Omicron variant at the end of November and the introduction of new travel restrictions by many countries. As a reminder, in 2019, Genève Aéroport welcomed 17’926’625 passengers. 

At the same time, during the last twelve months, the total of landings and take-offs reached 99’249 movements, or 14.9% more than in 2020. Compared to the pre-crisis situation, and despite significant business aviation activity in 2021, the number of movements remains well below the 186’043 movements recorded in 2019.

As in 2020, several airlines in 2021 favoured the latest generation aircraft and so contributed to limiting noise emissions. These category 5 aircraft (e.g. the Bombardier CSeries or A-220, the A 320neo, the A 350 and the Boeing 787) are less noisy and consume less kerosene. They account for 22.3% of airliner and charter movements compared to 22.8% in 2020. 

Movements after 22:00. which were on the decline in 2020 remained 57.8% lower than in 2019. In particular, unplanned airliner or charter take-offs after 22:00 amounted to 296 compared to 253 in 2020 and 1,404 in 2019.

Long-haul service almost restored

Services to Genève Aéroport, which had 147 destinations in 2020, decreased slightly to 139 destinations in 2021. However, Genève Aéroport has resumed almost all of the long-haul service, in particular with the return of all transatlantic routes at the end of the year. And to add to this promising news, the occupancy rate on these routes was high at the end of the year. Recently, Qatar Airways announced its return to Geneva next March.

The market shares of the top ten airlines for the past year break down as follows: easyJet (48.6%), SWISS (12.0%), Iberia (3.9%), Air France (3.8%), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (3.1%), Turkish Airlines (2.7%), British Airways (2.6%), TAP Portugal (2.3%), Emirates (2.1%) and Brussels Airlines (1.9%).

Freight activities on the upturn

The year 2021 confirmed the recovery in air freight that began in the second quarter of 2020. The annual tonnage handled at Genève Aéroport amounted to 58’094 tonnes, an increase of 14.7% compared to 2020, and a decrease of 27.9% compared to 2019, the year before the pandemic.

All business segments followed this upward trend supported by positive economic conditions and the gradual reconstitution of the long-haul network to increase connectivity to and from Geneva. Freight transported in the holds of passenger airliners recorded the most marked development (+19.1%) followed by road freight operated by airlines (+12.4%) and that of integrators (+9.2%).

Export, import and transit freight amounted to 37.5%, 37.7% and 24.8%, respectively, of the total freight handled at Genève Aéroport.

Emirates dominated the top ranking of airlines involved in air freight with a market share of 32.7% followed by Etihad (17.5%) and Lufthansa (8.3%).

In terms of express delivery companies, DHL Express maintains its leading position in this segment with 83.6% market share ahead of FedEx (7.2%) and UPS (7.7%).

The 2021 annual report, the financial statements as well as the list of destinations will be made public on 29 March 2022.

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