VINCI Airports - 2020 Q1 Traffic
Marked downturn (-20.9%) in passenger numbers at VINCI Airports network facilities during the first quarter of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic: Airports in Japan and Cambodia affected as early as January as a result of reduced traffic with China and South Korea // Reduction in traffic extended to other airports in March following widespread introduction of restrictive measures in many countries // Traffic now much reduced in network airports, where activity is limited mainly to public and health services, as well as logistics.
After a robust performance in January 2020, with 2.1% growth, in line with the trend of the end of the previous year, passenger numbers fell by 5.0% in February due to reduced demand in Asia. The traffic was then heavily impacted in March (down 55.7%) by the introduction of travel restrictions introduced in many countries (quarantine measures, social distancing, border closures) in order to limit the spread of the pandemic. The decline was particularly sharp at the end of March, with very low passenger numbers at certain VINCI Airports network facilities. The same trend is seen at the beginning of April.
Overall, the number of passengers fell by 20.9% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the first quarter of 2019, with a total of 45.3 million passengers handled at the 45 airports in the VINCI Airports network.
Against the backdrop of this unprecedented global health crisis, VINCI Airports has launched a plan across all its facilities to reduce operating expenditure and carefully manage investments, while complying with contractual and regulatory obligations, as well as government decisions.
The VINCI Airports network has been very actively engaged in the repatriation of people wishing to return to their country of residence. In addition, VINCI Airports is making its infrastructure, equipment and skills available to bodies in charge of managing the crisis, including for the transport of Covid-19 patients and medical equipment. Solidarity actions have also been launched by VINCI Airports facilities in favour of hospitals, airline passengers and commercial partners.
In Japan, there was a sharp downturn in traffic with China in January, and then of South Korean traffic in February. Across the entire first quarter, passenger numbers at the three airports in the Kansai region declined by 31.0%. Passenger numbers held up better at Osaka-Itami (down 18.2%) and Kobe (down 9.0%) airports due to domestic demand.
In Cambodia, passenger numbers at the three VINCI Airports facilities posted a 41.5% decline over the first quarter. The impact on Siem Reap and Sihanoukville airports, where passenger numbers depend more heavily on Chinese demand, was stronger than on Phnom Penh.
Following 6.9% growth in January and 10.1% in February, there was a sharp downturn in passenger numbers at the 10 airports in Portugal from 15 March, with a 15.3% decline recorded over the first quarter as a whole. Due to the diversity of its traffic, passenger numbers at Lisbon were firmer than at Faro, which was impacted by the decline in the tourism market.
In the United Kingdom, London Gatwick Airport saw a 22.5% decline in passenger numbers in the first quarter of 2020. Following the impact on passenger numbers in February of Storms Ciara (over 400 flights cancelled on 9 February), Dennis and Jorge, the first effects of the public health crisis hit that same month with the suspension of links with northern Italy. Belfast International Airport saw a similar fall in passenger numbers.
In France, traffic at the facilities managed by VINCI Airports declined by 18.9% over the first quarter of 2020, due mainly to the introduction of widespread containment measures on 17 March. In this difficult context, the decline at Nantes was limited to 10.0% thanks to the strong growth recorded at the beginning of the year, driven by the opening of an easyJet base in 2019 and Volotea’s momentum. The Lyon airports posted a 20.7% decline in passenger numbers.
In Serbia, Belgrade airport started the year with 16.1% growth in passenger numbers in January and 13.0% in February, boosted by the momentum of Air Serbia in international markets. The downturn in passenger numbers in March and the total closure of the airport to commercial flights decided by the government on 19 March explain the 10.8% decline over the entire first quarter.
In the Dominican Republic, despite a good start to the year when passenger numbers rose 12.4% in January and 10.2% in February, there was a 6.5% decline over the first quarter as a whole. This fall was due to the closure of the country’s borders on 19 March.
In Brazil, the start of 2020 confirmed the good recovery of passenger numbers at Salvador following the loss of traffic due to airline Avianca Brazil going into administration in May 2019. The spread of Covid-19 during the month of March nevertheless caused a 9.4% decline in passenger numbers in the first quarter of 2020.
In Chile, passenger numbers fell by 12.5% in the first quarter due both to the continued deterioration of the social climate that started at the end of 2019 and the spread, in March, of Covid-19, which resulted in the closure of the country’s borders on 18 March.
Nicolas Notebaert, chairman of VINCI Airports and chief executive officer of VINCI Concessions, said: “Our industry is going through a crisis that is unprecedented in its intensity and scope. In this very difficult climate, each of our airports can draw on unfailing support from our entire network to be stronger and more proactive facing the crisis and to better prepare, with all air sector stakeholders, the recovery when it comes”.
 Data at 100% estimated to 15 April 2020. Data for 2019 includes full-year airport traffic.