As the coronavirus pandemic rages on around the world, one of the worst hit industries has been the travel sector.
Airports have particularly felt the effects of continued restrictions and Geneva airport has been no exception. It expects to see only 33% of its normal passenger numbers this year and its chief executive officer says the effects of the pandemic will be felt for years to come.
Many countries closed their borders for a period in an attempt to control the spread of the virus, and while borders have reopened across the globe travel restrictions and quarantines have been placed on many countries and passengers.
The airport estimates it will host around six million passengers this year, compared with more than 17.9 million in 2019.
“We lived for three months with almost no passengers, only 150 per day,” airport Chief Executive Officer Andre Schneider told the Associated Press.
The airport has been forced to reduce its wage bill by 10%, largely through voluntary separation, to try to cut its losses.
“We have a massive loss of revenue,” Schneider said. “We took many measures to reduce our costs, but as we are a platform full of high-tech facilities, we have limited ways to reduce our costs,” he said.
Schneider said Geneva is the second busiest European airport when it comes to private jets and that sector has not taken such a big hit.
“Basically we are around 80% of last year traffic, but this is a very low income for Geneva airport,” he said. “That is because airport taxes are levied on passengers and the weight of planes,” Schneider added.
Geneva airport has recorded a loss of 100 million Swiss francs (110 million US dollars) since the beginning of the pandemic.