Quick take-off for Cologne Bonn Airport after the pandemic


In spite of the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Cologne Bonn Airport completed the 2021 financial year better than expected and earned a much better annual result than in 2020. Although it is still minus €14.5 million, the loss was more than halved in comparison to the previous year (-€31.1 million).

“Thanks to the efforts of the whole team, the airport is coming out of the crisis well. Both traffic segments have developed positively this year, with the result that the company will return to profit in 2022,” says Thilo Schmid, president and CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH.

The cargo business – an important stabiliser in the pandemic – once again developed superbly in 2021 and with 986,000 tonnes (+14%) actually set a new annual record. The airport thus once again demonstrated what an outstanding role it played in the pandemic in supplying people and companies in the Rhineland. In passenger traffic, the first half of 2021 was difficult, but this was followed by a visible recovery from the middle of the year. But ultimately, the figures were well below expectations. In total, 4.3 million passengers used the airport (+38%) – around a third of the pre-pandemic level of 2019.

However, following a dampener at the start of the year due to the omicron wave, the recovery trend in passenger traffic continued in 2022. Further recovery is expected in the summer months ahead. The airport assumes that the passenger numbers will more than double in 2022 and rise to around 9 million. And there are major targets in cargo: “We are optimistic that we will be able to break through the one-million tonne barrier,” Thilo Schmid says.