Infra funds’ airports face up to traffic collapse

17 March 2020 - 12:00 am UTC

Air travel across Europe is grinding to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic. Airport operators, including many infrastructure fund-backed groups, are seeking financial support from the EU and European governments to cope with a dramatic drop in revenues, reports the Inframation EMEA editorial team

European airports that have attracted huge investment from infrastructure funds over the past years are facing unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The worst affected airports have effectively shut down while many are being hit by travel bans and plunging passenger numbers as airlines fight for survival. 

Jost Lammers, president of the Airports Council International Europe (ACI), a trade body, asked the European Commission and European governments for “extraordinary and urgent” funding to keep airports operating in a letter published on Wednesday (17 March). He said airports are bracing for “a near total collapse of their traffic, connectivity and revenues”.

Lammers, who is also CEO of Munich airport, said he expects European airports to lose EUR 2bn of revenues just in the first quarter of 2020 as their situation is “deteriorating by the day”.

A spokesperson for the European Commission told Inframation that Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Valean discussed in a video call with ACI on 17 March possible support measures, including “financial instruments”. 

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