Airport reduces operating loss for 2022

The Corona pandemic has left its mark on the 2022 financial year: For the third year in a row, Hamburg Airport is in the red. This year, however, the loss of €27.2 million is significantly lower than forecast. Due to the surge in demand for air travel, the airport's turnover increased by 87.8 million euros (+ 68.2 per cent) compared to the previous year. The airport is looking ahead with confidence and has a significant project for the future in mind with "Net Zero 2035": Over the next twelve years, Hamburg Airport intends to gradually reduce the airport city's fossil CO2 emissions to zero. The climate protection project includes investments of up to a quarter of a billion euros. Around 70 million euros will be made available for the construction of an airport-owned wind farm near Kaltenkirchen alone.

"After the end of the Corona restrictions, demand rose so strongly and so sharply last year that the number of passengers doubled compared to 2021. Now our top priority is to return the company to profitability as quickly as possible, also in economic terms - in doing so, we are looking ahead with confidence and courage," says Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO at Hamburg Airport. "With our major climate and investment programme 'Net Zero 2035', we are taking the consistent, next step in our climate strategy."

Financial results better than expected

Hamburg Airport closed the 2022 financial year with a loss of 27.2 million euros. The original budget had foreseen a loss of 41 million euros, so that the result was exceeded by around 34 per cent. Compared to 2021, revenue increased to 216.7 million euros. This is 87.8 million euros or 68.2 per cent more than in the previous year. The balance sheet total fell to 715.3 million euros, a decrease of 89.1 million euros (-11.1 per cent). This is mainly due to the reduction of liabilities and the repayment of loans. Economically, Hamburg Airport was already on track to reach the black zero in the current year - due to the sharp rise in energy costs and high inflation, this milestone is expected to be delayed.

"Net Zero 2035 - Now. For the future": Hamburg Airport sets the pace

For the coming years, the airport is once again moving boldly forward and consistently pursuing its ambitious climate protection goals. "In order to be able to operate without fossil greenhouse gas emissions in the future, we are investing up to a quarter of a billion euros over the next twelve years. Step by step, we are switching to an independent, 100 per cent renewable energy and heat supply for our airport city," explains Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport. Around 70 million euros would be made available for the construction of an airport-owned wind farm near Kaltenkirchen alone. At the same time, the airport is supporting the airlines in the area of climate-friendly flying.

By 2035: Airport city to reduce fossil CO2 emissions to zero

Under the umbrella of the Airports Council International Europe (ACI), European airports have agreed to reduce their fossil greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Hamburg Airport is part of this and is setting the pace. The goal: Hamburg Airport wants to be the first major German airport to be CO2-free by 2035. To achieve net zero, a specific reduction path has been developed. This shows the timeframe in which decarbonisation is to be implemented and the four pillars with which the goal is to be achieved. This plan is now being worked through step by step. "Net Zero 2035 is an ambitious but achievable goal, thanks to our climate protection measures, which have already been established and continuously adapted for decades," explains Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO at Hamburg Airport.

How Hamburg Airport reduces CO2: Four pillars for Net Zero 2035

Overall, the implementation of the climate protection measures of Net Zero 2035 is supported by four pillars:

1. change in heat supply: In the future, heat for the Airport City will be supplied from a network of district heating, biogas, electrode boilers and deep geothermal energy.

2. vehicle conversions: The airport vehicle fleet will be completely converted to zero-emission electric or hydrogen propulsion, including an on-site H2 filling station.

3. future-proof power supply: The construction of the airport's own Heidmoor wind farm on airport-owned land and photovoltaic systems will create an independent, 100 per cent sustainable energy supply for the airport city. 4.

4. energy efficiency: additional energy-saving potential in the operational facilities is achieved through optimised use, extended monitoring and necessary renewals.

Own wind farm supplies airport city with green electricity

"The most important pillar is a conversion of the heat and power supply for the airport city - away from gas and towards renewable solutions. In order to achieve net zero by 2035, we are planning, for example, to build the Heidmoor wind farm on an airport-owned site near Kaltenkirchen and are looking at ways to use photovoltaics," says Michael Eggenschwiler. Both are intended to supply the airport with its approximately 100 buildings with self-produced, green electricity from as early as 2028. The region can also benefit from the locally generated energy. Surplus, regional wind power could be used for the airport's own hydrogen production.

Climate-friendly flying: Hamburg Airport supports airlines

Hamburg Airport is not only looking at its own emissions on the ground, but is also opening its horizons wide: in order to support air travel on its way to a CO2-free future, Hamburg Airport is promoting the development of alternative fuels for aviation and, with a modern charging system, is providing incentives for airlines to switch to aircraft with efficient technologies. This reduces paraffin consumption per passenger. Within just a few years, the proportion of the most modern generation of aircraft at Hamburg Airport has increased from 2 to over 12 per cent, and the trend is rising.

Hamburg Airport is also involved in the Hydrogen Aviation Lab, which provides impetus for the development of future aircraft generations that fly with hydrogen-based engines. Their use is forecast for the mid-2030s. In addition, maintenance and ground processes using hydrogen technology are also being designed and tested at Hamburg Airport to prepare for the handling and maintenance of hydrogen-powered aircraft. "We are actively helping to ensure that aircraft can take off from Hamburg with green propulsion as soon as possible. The next development projects with international partners are already being planned," says Eggenschwiler.

Net Zero means no more offsets

With its climate strategy "Net Zero 2035 - Now. For the Future", Hamburg Airport once again underlines its pioneering role. For three decades now, the airport has been carrying out innovative environmental work and working to reduce CO2 emissions. With success: since March 2022, it has been the first major German airport to operate in a CO2-neutral manner and is now going one decisive step further. In contrast to CO2 neutrality, where any remaining emissions are compensated for, net zero means that CO2 emissions from the operation of airport buildings, facilities and vehicles are gradually reduced to zero through technical conversions and energy savings.

Outlook 2023: Airport expects around 13.8 million passengers

For the current year, Hamburg Airport anticipates a further increase in demand and a total of around 13.8 million passengers. The airport also expects more passengers during the summer holidays than last year: in July, the number of passengers per week is expected to exceed 350,000. In order to be able to cope with the high demand, Hamburg Airport relies on technical solutions and personnel support from partners at the site wherever possible. The technical solutions include, for example, the Slot & Fly project: as early as the Easter holidays, passengers can reserve a 15-minute time slot for access to the security checkpoint and thus plan their travel time even better. In addition, the current waiting time before the security check can be viewed to the minute on the website. In addition, a rush hour display will soon be introduced, as is commonplace on the Internet for shops, for example. Passengers will then be able to see exactly when the airport is fuller or emptier.

via: Hamburg Airport