William Malcolm

Almost 200 European Airports Face Insolvency

Nearly two hundred European airports face insolvency in the coming months if passenger air traffic does not begin to recover at the end of the year, according to the association of European airports, ACI Europe. It considers 193 airports to be at risk, contributing € 12.4 billion (CZK 339.1 billion) to gross domestic product (GDP) in Europe and creating 277,000 jobs.

Small regional airports, which handle no more than five million passengers a year and whose closure would have a significant impact on the local labor market, are at particular risk, an association spokeswoman told Reuters.

However, larger European airports are also losing unsustainable amounts of cash. The debt of the twenty largest increased by 16 billion euros (over 437 billion CZK). This amount corresponds to almost 60 percent of their sales in the current year.

“Data released today shows a bleak picture. All European airports are losing money after eight months of crisis to stay open. Revenues are far from covering operating costs, not to mention capital costs,” said Olivier Jankovec, CEO of ACI Europe.

The volume of passenger air traffic at European airports fell by 73 percent year on year in September, with 172.5 million fewer passengers. Since January, the number of passengers has been lower by 1.29 billion year-on-year.

ACI Europe represents more than 500 of Europe’s 740 airports serving paying passengers.