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The eco brief. Covid: airport profitability paralyzed for ten years


Nice airport (Alpes-Maritimes). (VALERY HACHE / AFP)

The alarm was raised a month after the commitment of European airport managers to respect carbon neutrality by 2030. Suffice to say that the Covid-19 pandemic completely calls this objective into question, the crisis creating what the ambitious programs to reduce CO2 emissions are called a scissors effect.

The health crisis and travel restrictions have deprived airports of 60% of their turnover, with total losses of twelve billion euros for the year 2020 alone. And the resumption of traffic which seems to be starting this summer will be weak and uneven. According to ACI Europe, the level of attendance in 2019 (before the crisis) will not be recovered at best until 2025. Message: the recovery will not immediately put airport infrastructures in a healthy and sustainable financial situation to ensure the investments planned in the climatic domain.

Is this an appeal launched to the various European governments to obtain new aid? No. Airports say they don’t want preferential treatment, but fairness for investing in their infrastructure. States have given massive support to airlines, airports much less. It is a call for an overhaul of platform financing. It would be necessary, for example, to revisit the cap on the charges that airlines pay to use the facilities.

Message also sent to the social partners on the eve of a mobilization in France. The unions of Aéroports de Paris are calling for a strike on the weekend of June 19 and early July to protest against the plan to adapt employment contracts intended precisely to cope with the Covid crisis. A movement that falls into a complicated calendar and strong economic and financial tensions. European airports are today in debt to the tune of 20 billion euros.

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