6,267,580 people passed through Copenhagen Airport in the first three months of the year, up 0.4% on the same period in 2017. The long-haul, intercontinental routes were the main factor in the increase, with 9.9% more passengers than in the same quarter last year.
“We’ve worked hard to expand the number of long-haul routes in recent years, making it easier for Danish businesses to access new markets and easier for tourists to come to Denmark. New routes opened in 2017 included New Delhi in India, with new routes to Hong Kong and Amman in Jordan added this year. These have been instrumental in securing the pleasing growth in long-haul traffic we’ve seen in the first quarter of 2018,” says Thomas Woldbye, CEO of Copenhagen Airports A/S. He points out that the end of March saw the launch of the airport’s biggest-ever summer schedule:
“The new schedule offers 52 new destinations compared to the winter season, ten of them completely new to the airport. New routes and connections are extremely important to Danish trade and industry, and not least the tourism sector. Each new route opened to Copenhagen Airport makes it easier for tourists to come to Denmark, and it’s clear that this also plays a big part in attracting more international visitors,” says Thomas Woldbye.
The number of local departing passengers was up 3.5%, while transfer passengers were down 8.2%. The 0.4% increase in the total number of passengers led to a 1.7% increase in revenue, while profit before tax, excluding one-off items, was DKK 324.7 million, up 7.2% on Q1 2017.
New security checkpoint opened
In February this year, Copenhagen Airport unveiled a major expansion to its central security checkpoint:
“The security checkpoint is a critical and central part of the airport, which is why we’ve been working on a major expansion for the last few years. The central security checkpoint now covers twice its previous area and has five new lanes, providing significantly more space for passengers and helping to ensure that people get a good start to their journey. In 2017, the average waiting time at security was under 5 minutes, despite the reduced space and building work throughout the year,” explains Thomas Woldbye.
Major investments this year
Copenhagen Airport invested approximately DKK 1.5 billion in expansions and improvements in 2017, but investments are expected to rise to DKK 1.8-2.1 billion this year. In Q1 2018, capital investments totalled DKK 480.1 million, which was 79.7% higher than in the same period last year.
“We have to go back to the end of the 1990s to find an equivalent level of investment in the airport. We have an ambitious expansion plan in place – Expanding CPH – and have chosen to further increase the pace of investment this year. This means that we’ll complete the major expansion of Terminal 2 airside and construction of a walkway from the metro station to security. The new Pier E is another major construction project, and here we’ve expanded the scope to include construction of a brand-new building for passport control and even more aircraft stands and gates, predominantly for the large long-haul aircraft,” says Thomas Woldbye.
Growth in the non-aeronautical business
The non-aeronautical part of the business, including the shopping centre and parking, grew because of the increase in passenger numbers. Revenue in the shopping centre rose by 4.2%, which is mainly due to an increase within restaurants and cafés, while parking contributed 5.8%.
“During the first three months of the year, we’ve opened a number of new food outlets and shops landside. This has been done in response to the requests of many passengers for more places to get a cup of coffee or something to eat before going through security, as well as other people wanting to get something to eat or drink while waiting for incoming flights,” says Thomas Woldbye. “For seven out of ten passengers, the possibility of getting something to eat at the airport is important, and we have been missing offerings for passengers who, for example, wish to say goodbye to their families.”
The outlook for traffic growth follows the expected traffic programme for 2018, and CPH therefore maintains its previous outlook for growth in passenger numbers in 2018.
CPH expects to continue investing in growth and, as in recent years, maintain a high level of investments in 2018, totalling DKK 1.8-2.1 billion.