Bernie Baldwin

How firm and broad-based travel demographics are in place at FFG to support future growth.

An independent report from management consultancy Roland Berger has determined that the region in which Lake Constance Airport Friedrichshafen sits has a definite need for the airport.

With the Covid-19 pandemic affecting every industry, the Supervisory Board and the shareholders of the airport’s operating company, Flughafen Friedrichshafen GmbH (FFG), commissioned a report to assess the future of the airport.

Aspects such as future traffic development and sustainability were high on the list of criteria examined. The study also covered the evaluation of strategic options for action and the related financial needs for economical operation.

The results from Roland Berger note that the airport has handled previous crises and setbacks well and emphasised that there is a constant demand for flight services from around half a million passengers in the region. The consultancy prefers not to predict outright the pace of the recovery, as much depends on the course of the pandemic. However, it points out that measures are being taken to improve the operating result (EBITDA). The existing traffic mix of business travel, tourism and VFR (visiting friends and relatives) has been earmarked for expansion.

According to FFG, “The paramount importance of the airport as an efficient transport infrastructure has been clearly confirmed. The region needs the airport. This applies primarily to the economic and industrial enterprises of the whole region, but also to the high demand for tourist destinations. Due to a lack of transport by road and rail, which will not improve significantly in the future, the airport is the best ‘gateway’ to reach Europe and intercontinental destinations quickly.”

The figures behind the report show that the annual total of gross value added in the region by the airport is €56 million, with the nationwide added value being as high as €86 million. However, the report estimates that, due mainly to the large investments over the next four years and the low, pandemic-driven operating results in 2020 and 2021, €29.5 million will need to be injected between now and 2025.

The tasks now are to source that financing while developing the airport’s route network, the value to the industry of Lake Constance Airport Friedrichshafen having been re-established.