In 2020, Brno Airport checked-in 86,089 passengers. Due to measures to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an 84% year-on-year decrease compared to 2019.
The successful year 2019 was replaced by the critical year 2020. Due to the interruption of commercial flights with passengers on board at all airports in the Czech Republic in March and subsequent government measures together with the development of the coronavirus situation, the airport checked-in only 86,089 passengers. In the final numbers, it is 84% less than in 2019. The worst period in the modern history of Tuřany Airport will end with a loss of economic activity in the range of 60 - 75 million crowns.
Brno Airport had a great start to 2020. Even thanks to the record year of 2019, when the airport checked-in 543,633 passengers, and the year-on-year increase was 8.5%, expectations were predominantly positive. However, due to government regulations and restrictions on air traffic in the fight against the pandemic, the year turned into the historically worst in modern history.
"It's been a tough year. Practically day by day, based on the government's decision, commercial traffic stopped in our country and we were without any international line with passengers on board for three and a half months. Of course, life in our country did not stop and we were available for cargo flights, flights of the Air Rescue Service, the Police of the Czech Republic, or auxiliary flights which helped with the fight against the COVID-19 infection, but it was far from normal. Besides, we have lost the summer season, which is a key component for regional airports every year. It is during the summer season that we can fully see how capable we are to satisfy the demand of people who fly on vacation. Unfortunately, the loosening of the measures came at a time when, under normal circumstances, the season is already in full swing, and in 2019, for example, we checked-in 86,781 people in June alone. Which, as you can see, is more than for the whole 2020," described 2020 Milan Kratina, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Brno Airport.
The year 2021 is marked by the restart of regular lines and negotiations on new ones
Although the year 2020 was critical for the operation and economic activity of the airport, the management, together with the city of Brno and the South Moravian Region, is still negotiating the launch of new regular lines. The closest to the agreement are negotiations on a new line to Kyiv.
"The year 2019 brought to us a lot of interesting opportunities. Although COVID tried to dash our plans, I'm glad that the negotiations were not interrupted, and we continue. We are currently negotiating with the city and the region on the conditions under which a line to Ukraine could be launched. We have been discussing it for a long time and the permit for Sky Up is another positive step. If everything goes as planned, it could start flying in April. Of course, the situation around the pandemic can change all this again. Negotiations are also continuing on other destinations, where our priority is cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, central France, and the British Isles. It is difficult to estimate now exactly what awaits us in 2021, but I firmly believe that we will bounce back and, for example, the summer season will be without limitations and people will have the opportunity and desire to travel again," commented Milan Kratina on negotiations about new regular routes.
The growth of the modern industry is increasing the volume of cargo transport and the new DHL line is celebrating success
In November, there was positive news about the new regular DHL freight line to Leipzig, Germany.
"Just two months after the completion of the project of revitalization of the old, unused and dilapidated airport premises into a modern coat, the new DHL line was great news. This confirmed our long-term strategy to make Brno Airport a multifunctional complex for all types of air transport. It was also a logical response to current market needs. For us, of course, commercial transport is still a priority for ordinary passengers, but in times of crisis, it is freight transport that complements it appropriately. After the start of the DHL line, the numbers began to grow and in December we handled 290% more cargo than in 2019. In total, we rose to more than 4,000 tons compared to last year's 3,500. The development of the market is in favour of freight transport, and if next year will regular flights and summer charters add again, it will be a significantly more positive operational and economic view than is right now,” added Zdeněk Šoustal, Member of the Brno Airport Board of Directors, to the development of the airport complex.