Promoting regional economic development
Genève Aéroport contributes to the solidity of the socio-economic fabric of the region by maintaining a quality air service, even during the health crisis. It is also a major employer in the canton.
Maintaining service despite the pandemic
While passenger traffic was completely paralyzed at the end of March 2020, Genève Aéroport remained open and operational 24 hours a day. The airport increased its contacts with airlines and companies operating at the hub to support them in their daily challenges.
Ad hoc assistance was offered by Genève Aéroport:
- Reductions in rent and special charges in April and May for airport partners.
- Temporary relief from landing fees for airlines to speed up recovery.
- Reduction of the royalty rate (variable according to the sector of activity) and extension of the agreements (maximum 24 months) for concessions.
- Annual minimum fees not applied in 2020 to concessions and indexed to traffic in 2021.
Efforts have also been made to bring back long-haul routes, despite the travel restrictions. Emirates, Etihad Airways and Ethiopian Airlines, for example, have resumed several frequencies per week from summer 2020. Air Canada also returned to Geneva for a few months after the first wave of the pandemic.
These intercontinental flights maintained a minimum number of passengers, notably expatriates wishing to return home, as well as significant cargo activity for companies in the region. During this phase of traffic collapse, the strength of Geneva Airport's network of connections was demonstrated.
Subsequently, the return of the European network was also gradual and was encouraged by Geneva Airport to meet the travel needs of the various foreign communities, tourists when health restrictions were lifted and to accompany a modest resumption of business and diplomatic travel.
The number of destinations served at the airport decreased slightly from 147 in 2020 to 137 in 2021. The number of airlines operating to and from Genève Aéroport was 48 in 2021 (compared to 54 in 2020 and 57 in 2019).
EVOLUTION OF THE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS AND MOVEMENTS
Aircraft movements: only commercial traffic (1985 : index 100)
Air bridge with China
The airport never stopped operating during the crisis, especially during the confinements. It welcomed :
- medical flights,
- repatriation flights,
- cargo flights with medical supplies.
In the spring of 2020, all-cargo flights landed in Geneva to ensure the vital needs of part of the population and the regional economy. A veritable air bridge has been established between Shanghai and Geneva. Some thirty jumbo jets, filled with medical protection equipment (masks, goggles, gloves, forehead thermometers), unloaded their cargo at Genève Aéroport to supply hospitals in Switzerland.
A total of 140 million masks and medical protection equipment passed through Genève Aéroport that spring.
Remaining viable despite the crisis
The health crisis has created significant financial difficulties for the Airport. Cost-saving measures were put in place for 2020 and 2021 to ensure the sustainability of the company and to protect jobs as much as possible.
From mid-March 2020, short-time working was introduced. In the period April-December, the average level of reduced working hours (RWH) was 29.6%. For 2021, the average level of RHT was 27.9%. During the crisis, Genève Aéroport fully compensated its employees for short-time working so that they did not suffer any loss of salary.
On the staffing side, fixed-term contracts were not renewed and early retirement was encouraged. Appointments were frozen and replacements following natural wastage limited to the strict minimum. Posts were filled internally to the maximum extent possible (65% by 2021).
These measures, coupled with reductions in operating expenses and investments, have made it possible to avoid large scale layoffs in 2020.
"The measures put in place to ensure the sustainability of Genève Aéroport have made it possible to avoid a mass redundancy in 2020."
In 2021, Genève Aéroport was forced to adapt its structure. After conducting a structural analysis of the company, department by department, the General Management has taken measures to reduce the workforce. 22 positions were eliminated.
Overall, the company's headcount decreased from 1,070 FTEs at 31.12.2019 to 997.93 FTEs at 31.12.21.
On the training side, although expenditure was also reduced in order to cut costs, Geneva Airport maintained several actions aimed at developing and maintaining the skills of its employees. 1,421 training sessions were given in 2021 and 877 in 2020, divided between the fields of human resources, aviation, safety (health and security), ARFF and security.
The normative training courses were maintained to meet the obligations, in strict compliance with the health measures, and those dedicated to the protection of the personality and to project management (the latter in blended learning), initiated before the occurrence of COVID-19, were finalised.
Airport activities generate a significant turnover, part of which is directly redistributed to its stakeholders in the form of:
- public contribution
- service contracts
- bank fees
- financial support to associations.
The direct economic value distributed in 2021 amounted to CHF 353.4 million, compared to CHF 599 million in 2019. The health crisis is the main reason for this significant decrease.
Gateway to international Geneva
The year 2021 was marked by an exceptional event: the diplomatic summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin on 16 June. The airport was chosen as the gateway for the Russian and American presidents and delegations.
For almost three weeks, a special cell composed of members of Geneva Airport and the International Police met daily. The operational, logistical, security and protocol plans were discussed in detail.
The expertise and commitment of the Protocol Department confirmed the quality of the Airport's welcome in such circumstances.
Biden - Putin
Meeting in Geneva (french)
"Genève Aéroport is proud to have participated in the success of this important meeting for Switzerland and International Geneva."
In 2021, the protocol service carried out 1,335 protocol welcomes, including 44 heads of state and 10 prime ministers and 218 members of royal families.
Sustainable revival of the airline industry
Genève Aéroport has been involved with the federal authorities during these two years of health crisis. It has pleaded on numerous occasions for simplified sanitary arrangements in the travel sector.
In April 21, he took part in the virtual "Back in the Air" summit with some 50 representatives from the aviation, business and tourism sectors. As a result of this event, three requests were submitted to the Federal Council to restore freedom of travel.
After two years of falling air traffic, what does the future hold? And how to accelerate the exit from the pandemic? These questions were discussed at the annual conference and general assembly of Airport Council International (ACI) for the European region. This event was held in October 2021 in the East Wing of Geneva Airport. Particular emphasis was placed on how to restore air connectivity and achieve a sustainable recovery of the sector.
Providing users with efficient infrastructure
Uninterrupted listening to passengers
For the past 15 years, measurements have been carried out to better understand the users of the airport, to evaluate the quality of the services offered and to measure passenger satisfaction.
In 2020, apart from the semi-containment period, these measures were continued by adapting the sampling plans and information gathering methods. As a result of this constant listening to passengers, Geneva Airport was awarded the "Voice of the Customer" distinction by the ACI (Airport Council International) on 8 February 2021. This initiative rewards airports that have maintained their ASQ (Airport Service Quality) surveys despite the pandemic.
In Q4 2021, overall passenger satisfaction reached the highest level (4.17/5) ever recorded for the Airport. The European average is 4.15. Passenger satisfaction with the effectiveness of hygiene measures enabled Geneva Airport to rank highly among participants in the ASQ surveys.
Overall satisfaction - evolution - 4th quarter
Passenger satisfaction measured in the fourth quarter of each year (Q4) with the ASQ (score out of 5)
Commissioning of the East Wing
While almost 120 projects planned in the plan have been frozen in 2021, allowing a reduction in investments of 90 million francs for the years 2021 and 2022 and 200 million francs for the years 2023 to 2024, Geneva Airport has maintained its strategic objectives and moved forward on the essential projects to guarantee a safe and satisfactory infrastructure for passengers in the years to come.
Construction of the East Wing was completed in 2021, with commissioning on 14 December. This building aims to improve the welcoming of passengers from continental and intercontinental flights, while meeting current standards. It incorporates innovative facilities that are essential for Geneva's intercontinental connectivity.
Encourage the use of public transport
For several years, one of Geneva Airport's main strategic objectives has been to encourage the use of public transport by passengers, employees and users of the site. The aeronautical infrastructure sector plan (PSIA) for the airport sets a target of 58% of passengers and 44% of employees using public transport.
Due to the epidemic, data on employee transport is not available for 2020 and 2021.
In Q4 2021, 48.5% of passengers used sustainable modes of transport (public transport, buses, shuttles, trains) to get to the airport site. This compares to 50.5% in 2019. This data is not available for the year 2020 due to the pandemic.
Launch of CAP 2030
The infrastructure must be adapted to meet the 58% target, with a complete redesign of the spaces for the different modes of transport. An optimized multimodal platform above the SBB station will be created as part of the CAP 2030 project.
"Eventually, a 45,000 m2 extension to the terminal building will be built on the Terminal 1 esplanade."
CAP 2030 is the first step that will eventually allow the renovation of the main terminal due to major obsolescence problems by 2040.
The project involves the demolition of the existing station superstructure. It will be replaced by a public transport interchange platform to ensure an ambitious modal share shift.
On June 29, 2021, the Geneva Airport Board of Directors approved the study credit for the CAP 2030 and multimodal platform projects. Work on the multimodal platform is scheduled to start in 2025 and will last three years. The extension of the terminal should start in 2028 and be completed in 2032.