Traffic trends and summer flight timetable
Between January and June 2022, a total of 9.1 million passengers used Zurich Airport as a departure, transfer or destination airport, more than a fourfold increase over the prior-year period. Passenger numbers were 61% of the 2019 half-year level. The number of flight movements climbed 136% year-on-year to 97,127 take-offs and landings in the first half of 2022. The volume of freight handled was 216,334 tonnes (+20%). Thanks to the rise in bookings for holiday destinations in particular, our hub carrier SWISS and Edelweiss Air further extended their flight schedules during the first half of the year. As well as Delta Airlines and Royal Jordanian, both of which returned to the airport after a pandemic-related break, Zurich Airport also welcomed Air Montenegro for the first time. In total, airlines flew to 181 destinations during the first half of the year, almost as many as before the pandemic.
New services and awards
Since the beginning of March, travellers holding tickets from the Lufthansa Group have been able to check in their baggage at Zurich Airport themselves. 20 self bag drop machines at Check-in 2 and 3 are another example of the speedy and efficient passenger processes provided at Zurich Airport. It is amenities such as this, in tandem with the high quality of other services, the cleanliness of the terminals and the friendliness of our staff that make the airport stand out. Zurich Airport consequently remains very popular with travellers, and in the spring once again repeated its successes of 2006, 2008, 2018 and 2019 by winning the ASQ Award for best European airport in the category “airports with 25–40 million passengers” for a fifth time.
Real estate and commercial centers
The renewed popularity of travel and upturn in passenger numbers during the first half of the year strengthened our three commercial centers and had a positive impact on our commercial business. Along with several refurbished restaurant units, various new stores with attractive brands opened in both Airport Shopping and the Airside Center. Adding to the variety of accommodation options at Zurich Airport, the start of the year saw the opening of the Alpine Garden capsule hotel directly opposite Check-in 1.
Along with hotels and conventions, the Circle has firmly established itself as an attractive location for organisations, commercial businesses and service companies. 46 enterprises employing some 5000 people have now taken up residence in the Circle. Along with the opening of two restaurants and a racing lounge offering virtual motor racing experiences, a further three companies from a variety of sectors concluded rental contracts for office or hospitality spaces during the first half of the year.
The Circle was awarded LEED Platinum and Minergie certificates in June 2022. Among other things, these were awarded primarily on the basis of above-average energy efficiency and the high proportion of renewable energy provided by energy piles and photovoltaic systems, enabling the Circle to operate almost entirely without the use of fossil fuels.
Development projects and infrastructure at Zurich Airport
New Dock A
This project is still in the early planning stages. Following a competition, in June the jury selected the winning project for constructing the new Dock A, including tower and dock base. The new dock will be built entirely in line with sustainability principles. For instance, the majority of the building will be constructed from locally sourced sustainable timber. In addition, the entire roof will be covered in photovoltaic arrays which will meet around two thirds of its own annual electricity needs. The new building will therefore make a major contribution to achieving the company’s ambitious CO2 reduction targets. Our investment is expected to run to approximately CHF 700 million, and construction is scheduled to begin towards the end of this decade.
Upgrading and expansion of infrastructure
April 2022 saw the start of building work for the renovation of runway 10/28 at Zurich Airport, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The original concrete runway has reached the end of its service life. The heavily worn centerline is to be replaced by a three-layer asphalt pavement. The work to repave the runway was successfully completed in the first half of the year over some 70 night shifts. To complement night tours, the company took the opportunity to inform local residents about this infrastructure project, the runway system in general and the importance of the planned runway extension. The rubble from the runway renovation was taken to a nearby recycling facility and made suitable for reuse. This “recycled concrete” will be reused primarily for rebuilding work at Zurich Airport, for the expansion of the baggage sorting system for example. The costs for runway renovation total around CHF 90 million.
Work on expanding the baggage handling system and on extending the landside passenger areas progressed without any major delays or bottlenecks.
International airport business
The contract for building Noida International Airport was signed in June – a further milestone following on from the signing of the concession agreement, the shareholder and government support agreements, and arranging the finance. All the prerequisites for realising the project are now in place. The investment for developing and building the airport totals approximately CHF 750 million. It is scheduled to open at the end of 2024.
The aviation sector in Latin America rebounded more quickly than in Europe and passenger volumes have returned to pre-crisis levels in many places. The airports in our portfolio are continually working to improve quality. In Brazil, passengers ranked the two airports operated by us in Florianópolis and Vitória as the first and second “best airports” respectively. Development of the infrastructure in Macaé is proceeding apace.