Letter to shareholders

Dear Shareholders,
Dear Sir or Madam

Travel is clearly back in demand, and the aviation industry is once more experiencing high passenger volumes, especially at peak holiday times. This has driven up revenues, but not without some operational challenges. In the first half of 2023 our company generated a consolidated profit of CHF 138.1 million. The runway extensions that are so vital for the airport remain in our focus. The airport’s 75th anniversary year is being celebrated – among other things – with an exhibition, a digitalised airport history and a big airport festival in September.

The travel industry has noticeably rebounded, resulting in great demand for both leisure and business flights. Passenger numbers during the first half year recovered to 88 % of 2019 volumes. At peak times during the day they are sometimes already higher than pre-pandemic levels. In various passenger processes, this rapid increase led to longer queuing times than people have come to expect from us as a quality-focused airport. A variety of operational and personnel measures were therefore implemented in collaboration with our airport partners. For example, additional staff were taken on for the summer months to assist passengers preparing to go through security checkpoints, the process was streamlined and passengers were kept better informed. Other measures which were put on hold due to the pandemic such as the introduction of new CT scanners are now going ahead. The scanners have been put out to tender, and trial scanners are due to commence operation next year. We are confident that, working together with our respective partners, we will be able to again provide the quality experience that passengers in Zurich are entitled to expect.

The revenues of our commercial partners have also recovered strongly, reaching 98 % of 2019 levels in the first six months of this year. Along with new and modernised restaurants and cafes, several new shops with attractive brands have strengthened our commercial centers.

The major construction projects are on track: after temporary suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, work to construct aircraft stands in Zone West has now resumed. The renewal and expansion of the baggage sorting system is on schedule. As a result of an appeal, however, delays have arisen in the development of landside passenger areas, affecting among other things the work to provide an underground link between the Circle and Airport Shopping.

Our international business is also seeing positive growth. In Noida, India, construction work on the terminal and runway system is progressing on schedule, and various contracts have been signed with service providers and airport partners. In Brazil, the company succeeded in acquiring a further licence to operate the airport in Natal.

75th anniversary of Zurich Airport

Under the slogan “Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow”, in its 2023 anniversary year Zurich Airport is casting an eye back over its long history and looking forward to future developments. A digitalised airport history highlights the most important milestones and an interactive exhibition in Airport Shopping running until 8 September is bringing the many facets of our airport to life. Among other things, it shows the development of the infrastructure and route network from Zurich over the decades. A “future island” visualisation depicts Zurich Airport in the year 2040 and presents our building projects, sustainability goals and much more besides. The big public airport festival will take place from 1 to 3 September. The festival grounds, which include the Tango aircraft stand near the hangars as well as the Circle and park, will host an aviation exhibition, live shows and concerts, along with a wide-ranging food and drink offering.

Changes on the Management Board and Board of Directors

At this year’s Annual General Meeting, shareholders elected former Board member and CEO of Zurich Airport Ltd. Josef Felder to be the new Chairman of the Board of Directors. He took over the reins from Andreas Schmid, who – after 23 years of sterling service – did not stand for re-election. Claudia Pletscher was likewise newly elected to the Board of Directors; she has assumed the role of Vice-Chair and also heads up the Nomination & Compensation Committee (NCC). The representatives of the Canton of Zurich mandated to sit on the Board of Directors are the Head of Zurich’s Department of Economic Affairs, Carmen Walker Späh, Vincent Albers and a new representative, Beatrix Frey-Eigenmann, who is replacing Eveline Saupper.

With effect from 1 May, former Chief Financial Officer Lukas Brosi took over from Stephan Widrig as Chief Executive Officer. Widrig likewise served the company for 23 years, latterly steering it through the crisis of the pandemic with great diligence and commitment. Kevin Fleck joined the Management Board in mid-August as the new Chief Financial Officer.

Corporate governance award

As a company, we understand good corporate governance to be values-based and transparent management with clearly defined competencies and allocated responsibilities, providing reliability for shareholders and defending their rights. In its 2023 corporate governance rankings, Swiss business magazine “Finanz und Wirtschaft” dubbed our company the year’s “greatest improver”. Every year, the magazine rates Swiss listed companies according to various criteria, including the organisation and transparency of the board of directors, independence of its members, compliance with legal requirements, information policy, sustainability, plus remuneration and participation models.

Josef Felder
Chairman of the Board of Directors

Lukas Brosi
Chief Executive Officer