The Zurich Airport Group has a large number of stakeholders, both in Switzerland and at the airports it operates abroad. Every stakeholder group has its own points of contact with the company, and has different interests and expectations.
From the outset the Zurich Airport Group has conducted a dialogue with its most important stakeholder constituencies. In preparation for this report, the list of stakeholders was reviewed and expanded to take in the whole of the Zurich Airport Group. The same internal experts from the divisions who conducted the materiality analysis (see Focus section) were involved in this process. A workshop was held in which all the individual stakeholders were analysed and grouped according to their interests and expectations. The list with the stakeholder groups was then validated and discussed in conjunction an external consultant. As a result, the following ten stakeholder groups were defined:
Stakeholder groups of Zurich Airport Group
Flughafen Zürich AG regularly engages in dialogue with all stakeholder groups. The following sections set out how these groups are defined, the forms of communication used and the respective focal issues.
Transparent communication with people in neighbouring communities is important to Flughafen Zürich AG. The company publishes information about developments at the airport both online and offline. In relation to noise specifically, the company engages in institutionalised dialogue with public agencies such as the Zurich local residents protection association SBFZ. Flughafen Zürich AG provides information about changes and its development plans, and ensures its actions and intentions are communicated transparently through active participation in information events. The company also liaises with citizens groups in connection with specific projects. Local residents affected by noise can contact a 24/7 noise hotline. See the Noise section for further information.
The company’s Latin American subsidiaries in which it has a majority interest also maintain close contacts with their local communities. All the airports operate a general telephone hotline for residents to report their concerns. They all offer the facility to submit complaints online as well.
The Zurich Airport Group addresses the needs of individual customers, whether passengers or other visitors to its airports. A variety of contact options are available to customers. As well as via contact desks at the airport itself, the company’s Customer Contact Center also receives feedback online or over the telephone. Customer satisfaction is systematically analysed and benchmarked against other comparable European airports. The resulting data are used to identify and implement improvements on an ongoing basis. Zurich Airport regularly scores very highly in passenger satisfaction surveys carried out by third parties (see also Awards).
Along with Flughafen Zürich AG itself, some 270 further partner companies are involved in providing the myriad of services required to run the Zurich Airport complex. Almost all of these airport partners are in a direct contractual relationship, but for the most part they operate independently. Together they ensure the smooth operation of the airport and provision of a full range of amenities. Along with police, border police and rescue services, the airport partners include the airlines and the ground handling, maintenance, cleaning and security firms directly involved in flight operations. They furthermore include retail businesses, hospitality operators and a wide range of service providers for companies and private individuals.
As the licence holder for Zurich Airport, Flughafen Zürich AG attaches great importance to a fair and transparent partnership with all its airport partners. It actively engages in dialogue with these partner companies, wishing to see them prosper to ensure high quality across the board. Evidence of this commitment is the large number of bodies that regularly meet, for example the Airline Operators Committee (AOC) and the Airport User Board (AUB), or the annual meeting of airport tenants. Numerous bilateral meetings are also held.
During the reporting year, the Zurich Airport Group continued to consult extensively with partners at all its airports as regards the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the gradual resumption of operations.
Research and education
Flughafen Zürich AG maintains close contacts with universities and organisations engaged in research and education. Senior executives and experts regularly participate in public events and lecture at various universities. In addition, the company has been an active partner in European Union research programmes for many years, for instance the SESAR and AVIATOR programmes. Flughafen Zürich AG regularly makes its personnel and infrastructure available for practice-centered research into new technologies. Additional information can be found in the Regional contribution section.
As a listed company, Flughafen Zürich AG is obliged to comply with clear requirements as regards transparency and reporting. In particular, shareholders and external capital providers have a need for information, but also analysts and rating agencies.
Flughafen Zürich AG regularly publishes relevant information about its business situation, such as annual and interim results, monthly traffic statistics and individual ad hoc investor news on its website or by e-mail (see the Corporate Governance, Information policy section for further information). Management and the Investor Relations department maintain dialogue through direct discussions or participation in conferences and roadshows.
At its Zurich headquarters, Flughafen Zürich AG purchases goods and services from around 2500 different suppliers ranging in size from large multinationals down to small local firms. For many of them, Flughafen Zürich AG is a major customer. Suppliers expect mutual fairness and transparency, and are interested in long-term cooperation. Flughafen Zürich AG is in regular contact with many of its suppliers about products and services, including their impact on the environment and society. Additional information about local suppliers and tendering requirements can be found in the Regional contribution section.
The Zurich Airport Group also maintains partnership relationships with suppliers in its international business too. This was particularly evident in the mutual goodwill shown and great efforts undertaken to maintain existing supplier relationships during the most difficult phase of the pandemic.
Airports attract a great deal of interest from the public across a wide range of issues. Here the media plays a dual role of disseminator and intermediary. Open and transparent information is important to the Zurich Airport Group, and the company maintains a collaborative relationship with the media. Its efforts have been recognised: in September 2021, Flughafen Zürich AG’s media office was the recipient of the award for best Swiss media team for the third year running, and for the seventh time altogether.
The staff representation council (PeV) represents the company's Zurich-based employees both at a collective and individual level. During the reporting year the PeV moved into a separate office and was consequently able to extend its physical presence. Staff have already made use of the resulting opportunities for dialogue. See the Responsible employer section for further information on employees and their right to be consulted.
An open and transparent culture of communication is encouraged within the Zurich Airport Group. At its Zurich base this is conducted via a wide range of channels, ranging from the intranet to the staff newspaper and personal e-mails from the CEO. In addition, regular events are held to enable the Management Board to meet its senior executives and employees in person. The areas on which the company is focusing and key developments during the financial year are communicated when the annual and interim results are announced. Employees are able to put questions directly to the Management Board during these events. The “GL im Gespräch” meet-the-management sessions facilitate institutionalised dialogue with the workforce and enable all interested Zurich-based employees to gain insights into strategic objectives and developments. During the reporting year these discussions took place either online or in a hybrid format. Members of the Management Board are also available for informal and one-on-one conversations throughout the year.
Along with implementation of the constantly changing rules and regulations relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, important topics for the workforce during the reporting year were the economic growth of the sector, future job security and new forms of work.
The Zurich Airport Group communicates with numerous non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Owing to the wide-ranging nature of issues that arise at Zurich Airport, these include organisations from all spheres of society but in particular ones involved in environmental protection, disability-friendly construction, general aviation, business and commerce as well as labour organisations.
The group also actively engages with NGOs in Latin America on a wide range of issues. These include in particular business and trade interest groups predominantly interested in economic development.
Governments and public authorities
Engaging in dialogue with legislators, administrative authorities and government agencies is very important to the Zurich Airport Group. Airport operation is a highly regulated business in all countries and is subject to both national and international regulations. At the same time, regional (cantonal in Switzerland) and municipal authorities are responsible for certain matters.
In Zurich, a community event with representatives from the administrations of all five neighbouring municipalities is held every year. In addition, meetings on technical matters are held with municipal authorities and agencies as and when required, usually in relation to building projects and to noise arising from aircraft, construction or operations generally. Regular exchanges also take place with representatives of neighbouring districts in Germany.
Regular and ad hoc meetings are likewise held at the cantonal and federal level. These could be with members of the Government Council, the Cantonal Parliament or the competent authorities, in particular with the Office for Mobility of the Canton of Zurich, or at a federal level with the Federal Council, members of parliament and commissions of the Federal Assembly, or in particular with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). Flughafen Zürich AG furthermore takes an active interest in the legislative process, primarily in relation to infrastructure, transport, spatial planning and environmental policy issues.
During the year under review, for instance, Flughafen Zürich AG launched the “Back in the Air” initiative jointly with the severely hit travel and tourism industry. This proposed concrete measures to restore travel freedoms for presentation to the Swiss President.
Regular communication with local governments and authorities also took place at the company's airports abroad with regard to, among other things, further development of the concession models and physical airport development.
The Zurich Airport Group is a member of various industrial associations, chambers of commerce and local organisations. Some of the associations and organisations to which the Zurich Airport Group either contributes personnel or funding are: Aerosuisse, economiesuisse, Zurich Chamber of Commerce, Flughafenregion Zürich, the freiwillig@Kloten association, German Airports Association (ADV), and Airports Council International (ACI) Europe/LAC (Latin America and Caribbean)/APAC (Asia Pacific).
Flughafen Zürich AG is also a member of Öbu, the Swiss Business Council for Sustainable Development and, since July 2021, also a member of the UN Global Compact.