Swedavia reports historic pandemic-induced losses

Despite financial shortfalls, the company has continued with its climate change initiatives

Swedavia has released its year-end report for 2020 which highlights how much the pandemic has affected air travel and its operations.

Although the Swedish airport company was financially stable from the beginning of the health crisis, it still lost almost DKK1.7bn (£1.5m). Passenger levels were also extremely low at the beginning of this year.

Stockholm-Arlanda Airport
Photo Stockholm Arlanda Airport - I99pema

“Not since the early 1980s has air travel in Sweden been as low as in 2020. Almost one year on, we note that we are still in the middle of the pandemic and that travel early in the year is still at historically low levels. However, right now it is still a matter of all of us taking responsibility to fight the pandemic,” said Jonas Abrahamsson, president and CEO of Swedavia.

The airports decreased in passenger numbers dramatically – in 2019, there were over 40,000 travellers passing through the facilities, whereas the following year only saw a little over 10,000.

All of Swedavia’s airports have been in operation throughout the pandemic, providing necessary travel services such as business flights and cargo transportation.

The company has also persisted with its climate change work. All vehicles and engine powered equipment run on renewable fuel, and buildings are also heated using this as well as green electricity.

“In December, Swedavia became the first airport operator in the world to reach the goal of zero emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from its own operations,” explained Abrahamsson. “Air travel connects the world, and in order to do this in the future as well, the transition to fossil-free aviation will also need to continue even in times of crisis.”

According to Swedavia’s year-end report, recovery could begin to occur in the summer months, depending on vaccine rollout and travel restrictions. Overall, the group believes this year will also be dominated by the pandemic.