Waiting for Corona help: Airports send out reminders

Leere creates need. And it is empty at Germany’s airports in March of last year. According to the German air traffic control, Easter Sunday 2020 was even a historically empty day. The air traffic controllers had to accompany only 756 flights on their way in the sky over Germany that day. In better times, Düsseldorf Airport alone has this number of take-offs and landings. The busiest day of the year was February 21, probably never before has this record been in winter. But in 2020 the pandemic took effect in Germany shortly afterwards.

With the passengers, the airports lost revenue from handling fees, parking tickets and travelers shopping in airport shops. In 2020, only 63 million passengers passed through German terminals, a quarter of the previous year’s figure. A significant part of the costs remained because airports are subject to an operating obligation. Keeping it open was also desired for necessary flights, freight connections and, in the worst case, emergency landings.

The operation at Fastleere was not worthwhile. With the approval of the state finance ministers on Thursday, the airports are now getting closer to receiving a grant of one billion after a long struggle to cover the costs of the uneconomical keeping open. The airport association ADV does not want to give the all-clear, especially since it is not clear when the first amounts will actually flow.

“Preventing irreparable structural breaks”

“Now the ball is in the field of the federal government. The airports trust that the promised help will be provided as quickly as possible, “says ADV CEO Ralph Beisel of the FAZ.” Time is of the essence. It is necessary now to provide the airports with the promised and urgently needed funds in the form of non-repayable grants. This is the only way to prevent irreparable structural breaks, ”he said. A quarter of the 180,000 jobs at airport locations are threatened. The airport in Paderborn is already in insolvency proceedings under self-administration.

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