LONDON – Cologne/Bonn Airport (CGN) released today its data for Q2 2020 recording a total of 9,700 freight flights during the COVID-19 crisis.

The airport suffered a severe blow during the coronavirus pandemic period. It has seen passenger air traffic completely reset. In the months of April and May, only 11,000 passengers traveled via CGN.

In the same period last year, 2.1 million travelers passed through CGN’s gates. But the airport has not stopped its activities; in fact, the airport is one of the main hubs for cargo movement.

Photo: Thomas Saunders

Air freight operations at CGN

9,700 freight flights with a total tonnage of around 240,000t have been handled at the airport since the start of the crisis. The number of weekly flight movements was sometimes more than 15% higher than in the previous year and at the same time significantly higher than in other German air freight airports.

The airlines that operated these flights amount to 26, including some that would otherwise not fly to the airport.

Cargolux (CV) or Emirates (EK) have had CGN included in their flight plans. During the pandemic, a large part of the cargo at CGN was made up of medical goods, personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and fresh food such as fruit, vegetables, and fish.

Statement from Cologne/Bonn Airport

“This year should have been a good year for the airport. Instead, we had to deal with the almost complete cessation of passenger operations, abandoned terminals, orphaned parking garages, and empty notice boards. After an almost four-month state of emergency, we are cautiously optimistic about the near future,” said Johan Vanneste (57), CGN CEO. 

Vanneste also said, “This week, the gradual restart of passenger traffic began. Numerous sun destinations and business routes will be accessible again from CGN in summer. Over the past few weeks, our airport has shown its great importance as an indispensable hub in Europe and as a direct provider to the region.”

Photo: Thomas Saunders

Covid-19 economic impact

The airport introduced various measures that are necessary to at least alleviate the negative economic effects of the crisis. The measures included short-time work for a large part of the workforce in early April. in addition to an imposed hiring and an expenditure freeze. 

The airport wants to save around €50m through these measures. At the end of the year, according to current forecasts, the company expects Coronavirus-related sales losses of over €100m.

Regarding the economic situation of the airport, the management intends to work out an “employment pact” together with the works council and the tariff partners.

According to the statement from CGN CEO, “The aim is to maintain jobs for our employees even in times of this economic emergency and to avoid redundancies. We all have to face this crisis together.”