Brno Airport checked-in 84% fewer passengers in the first half of 2020 than in 2019. Losses due to regulations during the emergency state will climb up to tens of million Czech crowns
ncreased interest in flying, a record summer season and a good start to 2020. The vision of another successful year in Brno-Tuřany took hold in mid-March when due to Government measures there was a significant reduction in commercial flights with passengers at all airports in the Czech Republic. The result is 27,925 passengers checked-in in the first six months of this year. The year-on-year decrease for the same period is 84%, making it the worst operating period of Brno Airport in recent history. Economic losses are estimated at higher tens of millions of crowns.
The year 2019 was a promise for a good future for Brno Airport with 543,633 passengers and a year-on-year increase of 8.5%. Unfortunately, as elsewhere in the world, the operation of Czech airports has been limited by the state of emergency and the Government regulations in force in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
"Last year, we overcame the biggest problem, grounding the Boeing 737 MAX. This year the opponent was beyond our strength. Practically day by day, based on a government decision, commercial traffic in our country was stopped and we were without any international line with passengers on board for three and a half months. Of course, life did not stop here and we were available for cargo flights, flights of the Air Rescue Service, the Police of the Czech Republic or auxiliary flights in the fight against COVID-19, but it was really far from normal," said Zdeněk Šoustal, Member of the Board of Directors of Brno Airport during the emergency state operation of the airport.
The permit for the operation of international commercial flights came into force in mid-June, and a regular flight to London has returned to Tuřany since July. The summer season of so-called holiday flights also started late.
"For us, as well as for other regional airports, the summer season is crucial. During this time, we will fully see how much we are able to satisfy the demand of people who fly on vacation. Unfortunately, the relaxation of the measures came at a time when, under normal circumstances, the season is already in full swing, and last year, for example, we checked in 86,781 people June alone. We have been flying Greece and Bulgaria since July, some of the most popular summer destinations, but we feel that this year's season will be really bad," Šoustal described the current situation.
The result of the summer season will also reflect the overall economic results for 2020.
"It simply depends on three factors. The behavior of carriers, safety situation and specific regulations in destinations and especially in the interest of passengers. Of course, we can see that everyone is careful, and the nervousness is still in the air. We believe that some of the popular destinations will return from August and the number of passengers will increase. However, I must honestly say that it is already clear that this year will be at a loss of higher tens of millions of crowns," commented Milan Kratina, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Brno Airport, on the estimate 2020 results.
The airport management has been working for a long time to develop new scheduled connections.
"The measures that came with the fight against coronavirus were a problem for us also due to the fundamental influence of long-term negotiations on new routes. For the last two years, we have succeeded both in operation and in selling the idea of flying to Brno. Based on our continuous efforts, there was good hope for new and longer-term cooperation. These negotiations are affected by the crisis mainly by the postponement of final decisions. We hope that the crisis will not continue, and we will not have to start again from the beginning," added Kratina.