But the Allgäu Airport certainly is optimistic
Nobody expected that a year ago: After record values in 2019, Memmingen Airport will have seen a significant decrease in passengers and movements in 2020 due to the corona pandemic. In a nationwide comparison, however, Allgäu Airport was hit far less hard than other airports. One looks to the future with cautious optimism and anticipates a possible start of vacation traffic on Whitsun.The 2019 financial year report showed an increase of 15.4 percent in passenger numbers; Over 1.7 million passengers landed or took off at Memmingen Airport. In the 2020 balance sheet only 690,780 passengers are documented. “Corona has more than halved the number of our passengers”, states Airport Managing Director Ralf Schmid. The decline in flight movements was significantly lower and was down 25 percent to 17,436 (previous year 23,345).”If you compare our figures with those of other German airports, we got away with it with a black eye,” Schmid sums up. Because on average for all airports, Memmingen recorded the second-smallest decrease in passengers in Germany with minus 60 percent.
“2020 was a year full of challenges,” says Ralf Schmid. “We experienced an ascent and descent with numerous surprises.” A good start was followed in April by a four-week stop on all scheduled and charter flights. In particular, the connections to Eastern Europe and the activities of the airline Wizz Air then ensured continuous operation. “To this day, we are an important airlift for carers, nurses and harvest workers between Eastern Europe and Southern Germany,” explains Schmid. The airport had fulfilled its operational obligations at all times and was open for ambulance, military and police flights as well as for so-called official traffic. 98 people could be transported in medical emergencies. The most spectacular mission was the landing of an Airbus A310. This flying intensive care unit of the Bundeswehr brought seriously injured Ukrainian soldiers to the Bundeswehr hospital in Ulm for further treatment.
The crisis, which has not yet ended, has not yet had any existential impact on the airport company. Of course, in coordination with the employees and the supervisory board, they reacted quickly and applied for short-time work for Flughafen Memmingen GmbH and the subsidiary ALLgate GmbH, which together employ around 160 people. Where possible planned investments have been postponed.
Visits to relatives and friends as well as flights to work or study locations would probably be the first to attract attention again, then vacation trips – maybe already at Whitsun – would pick up again. “Ultimately,” says Schmid, “everything depends on the further infection process and the vaccinations.”
Sofia at the top
Last year, Sofia came first in the favor of passengers, followed by Sibiu, Timisoara, Varna and Kiev. New destinations have also been added to the flight plan like Bacau in northeastern Romania and Catania in Sicily. Larnaca in Cyprus, Heraklion in Crete and Rhodes also celebrated premieres. A total of 59 destinations from Memmingen were flown to by 17 airlines in scheduled and charter traffic last year. There is already a new addition for this year 2021: From the end of May the Ukrainian charter and low-cost airline SkyUp will connect Memmingen with Kiev.
New to the supervisory board
At the turn of the year there were also changes in the Supervisory Board of Flughafen Memmingen GmbH. Michael Schilling, who has represented the founding partner Dachser since the first days of the airport, was followed by Stephan Hohm. The new Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board is now Dr. Albert Schultz, who represents the founding partner Magnet Schultz Memmingen. New to the board is the Günzburg District Administrator Dr. Hans Reichart, as the former Bavarian Minister of Transport, is a proven expert in matters of transport policy.