Swedavia reviewing investment programme as traffic slumps
Swedish airport operator, Swedavia, has furloughed 2,100 staff and is reviewing its investment programme in response to the dramatic fall in passenger traffic since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.
It notes that although 6.6 million passengers passed through its airports in Q1 2020, traffic has come to a virtual standstill since the second half of March due coronavirus crisis, meaning that its revenues has plummeted.
As a result of the 25% Q1 decline in traffic, Swedavia has decided to pause the projects for a new pier and new baggage system at Stockholm Arlanda Airport.
“For Swedavia and our airline customers, tenants and a number of other companies and organisations at and in the vicinity of our airports, large parts of our market and revenue have quickly and drastically disappeared,” admits Swedvia president and CEO, Jonas Abrahamsson.
“We have therefore carried out a number of measures to adapt Swedavia’s operations to a minimum, while ensuring that we are prepared to help get the Swedish economy up and running and safeguard future competitiveness again once things have turned around.”
These include furloughing around 2,100 employees and putting a freeze on new investment decisions, recruitment and consultant solutions.
Meanwhile, Swedavia is carrying out a comprehensive review of its existing investment portfolio and, yesterday, the decision was made, under the scope of Stockholm Arlanda’s Development Programme, to pause the projects to build Pier G at Terminal 5 and a new baggage system in Terminal 5.
It notes that the review continues, and that it will provide additional information when further decisions are made.
At the larger airports, Swedavia has concentrated operations in certain parts of those airports in order to ensure access by air in a more resource-efficient way based on the limited demand that still exists.
The airport operator has also given notice to 800 employees in order to have room for manoeuvre given continued uncertainty about the market trend.
Despite facing challenges of its own, Swedavia insists that it is trying to provide relief for customers and support its partners through initiatives providing discounts or temporarily eliminating certain fees or rent, in part with assistance from the Swedish government’s aid package for rent reductions.
“There are many companies and other organisations that are closely linked together, and we are all important in ensuring that the aviation industry’s ecosystem functions,” adds Abrahamsson.
“I feel great sympathy for all of the business people at and in the vicinity of our airports who are fighting right now for the survival of their operations.
“While society, companies and not least employees are now facing serious challenges, we know that once the pandemic is over, it will still be important for people to be able to meet and for the industry to continue its transformation to make aviation sustainable.”