After a successful year in 2015, Hamburg Airport has a lot planned for the coming year. Alongside the launch of new routes and further improvements to passenger comfort, Hamburg Airport is also increasing its focus on aircraft noise protection in 2016.
2015: Number of take-offs and landings rising less than passenger volume
More passengers flew from Hamburg in 2015 than ever before: A total of 15.6 million passengers used Hamburg Airport, around 850,000 more than in 2014 – a growth rate of 5.8 percent. On average, around 42,800 passengers passed through Hamburg Airport every day in 2015. “The deployment of larger, more modern, and more efficient aircraft from Hamburg Airport, combined with ever improving load factors, means that passenger numbers and aircraft movements are not directly proportional. Because the number of passengers per flight continues to rise, the number of aircraft movements per year is growing more slowly than the number of passengers,” explains Michael Eggenschwiler. Compared to the previous year, the number of passenger movements in 2015 rose by only 2.9 percent; in November it actually sunk by 4 percent, and in December it grew by just 1 percent. The number of take-offs and landings in 2015, 158,390, was lower than the number recorded in the year 2000. Back then, though, only around 10 million passengers used Hamburg Airport.
Aircraft noise protection: punctuality campaign and even greater transparency
In cooperation with the five largest airlines using the airport, Hamburg Airport is launching a punctuality campaign in the first quarter of this year. “Together with our airline partners, we are concentrating on ensuring that the last aircraft movements of the day, scheduled for before 11 p.m., land or take-off in Hamburg on time. This is of great significance for residents in the neighbouring areas in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein,” explains Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport. Hamburg Airport’s daily hours of operation are from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., after which very strict curfew regulations are in place. Delayed aircraft may only take off or land under very specific circumstances and only until midnight; furthermore, they are subject to a 300 percent surcharge on the regular landing charge.
Hamburg Airport will also provide even more comprehensive and transparent information on facts and figures relating to flight operations and the environment. There will, for example, be a newly designed section of the website dedicated to this area.
More passengers per flight and better aircraft load factors
Take-offs and landings in Hamburg were more efficient than ever before in 2015. The average number of passengers per flight in 2015 was 109.7, compared to an average of 106.6 in 2014. The average number of seats per flight increased from 141 to 144. The load factor at Hamburg Airport increased to 76 percent. The Maximum Take-off Mass per aircraft rose by 1.6 percent over the 2014 figure to 66.8 tonnes.
New routes and services for passengers
Hamburg Airport's route network continuing to grow in 2016. Eurowings is launching new flights to Ibiza and Jerez de la Frontera in Spain as well as to Pisa in Italy, whilst easyJet is taking over the Air Berlin service to Salzburg as well as opening new routes to Zürich, Pula in Croatia, and Olbia on Sardinia. Ryanair is adding a new service to Palma de Mallorca, and the Romanian airline Blue Air will commence operations between Hamburg and Bucharest. Germania is also continuing to expand its Hamburg services, adding new routes to Bodrum and Gazipasa in Turkey, whilst SunExpress is also adding a service to Bodrum. The Belgian airline VLM will take over the route to Friedrichshafen on the shore of Lake Constance from 15 February, 2016; the route has been offline since the end of 2015.
Hamburg Airport is also focussing on passenger comfort in 2016. Passengers can look forward to redesigned pier areas with a Hamburg focus. The new facilities here, including numerous power and USB connecting points as well as comfortable modern seating areas, cater for a range of passenger needs. There are alternating quiet zones and technically well-equipped business zones, and bistro tables serve as communicative meeting points.
Hamburg Airport will also be successively upgrading its WLAN infrastructure in 2016. From the start of 2017, there will be even faster WLAN access, completely free of charge, operating under the name Hamburg Airport WiFi. New kiosks will make checking in quicker and more comfortable this year. They will make it possible for passengers to print out their own boarding passes and drop off baggage in a single procedure, and will be available to passengers from all participating airlines.
Outlook for 2016: stable demand and consolidation of growth
Michael Eggenschwiler points out that growth will slow in 2016. The CEO expects passenger growth of between one and two percent in the year ahead. “We expect stable demand, which will effectively consolidate the strong growth that we have seen in recent years. Hamburg Airport continues to be an important factor in setting the pace for northern Germany’s economy and a significant employer for Hamburg and the metropolitan region. Our environmental commitment means that, at the same time, we are also investing in sustainable development.”