Airport World - Joe Bates
We start with the harsh fact that we are grappling with the crippling debt that the COVID-19 crisis has left us with. This is a legacy with a very long tail, with European airport revenues now estimated as insufficient to meet capital expenditure and capital costs until at least 2032.
Then, despite the success of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, we also have the uncertainty of knee-jerk, uncoordinated actions from states and governments when it comes to travel restrictions, and the tendency for these restrictions to linger long after any real public health benefit may have been achieved – and this, despite the fact that the World Health Organization has unequivocally stated that travel restrictions are largely ineffective.
The stumbling, stop-start nature of a 2021 ‘recovery’ owed everything to patchy and uncoordinated national regimes, and nothing to the growing appetite of the general public to finally get moving again.
And this is before we get onto massive inequalities in the way European governments provided financial support to the aviation sector, and high investment costs relating to sustainability and decarbonisation.
These are challenges which face all of Europe’s airports. But whilst they might be true for all, each individual airport will experience the impact of them in very different ways, for no two are exactly the same. And as time has passed since the Covid pandemic hit us, some divergences are becoming more marked.