With an increase of 63,791 passengers, Linz Airport recorded significant passenger growth in the past year.
A total of 465,798 passengers (+15.9%) were recorded. The number of scheduled passengers was 312,167 (+6.1%). 150,930 passengers (+46.2%) travelled on charter services and 2,701 passengers (-40.3%) on alternative services.
"2018 was an encouraging year for Linz Airport. We had an extensive and varied range of holiday flights, which was in very good demand with our passengers. The airlines were also able to sell their capacities well in the market for scheduled flights," said Norbert Draskovits, Managing Director of Flughafen Linz GesmbH.
In the cargo sector, Linz Airport recorded a slight decline with a total of 52,414 tonnes (-2.9% / preliminary result). The background is that the freight flight connection Ljubljana-Linz-Leipzig was unbundled and the entire capacity is now available to the Upper Austrian market. This has led to a decline in transit freight. Local freight volumes in trucking increased by 0.9%.
Outlook for 2019
"In the holiday flight sector, we are also positioned in line with the market in the coming summer. It was particularly important that we, together with the tour operators, were able to convince Bulgarian Air Charter to station a holiday aircraft in Linz. With the stationed aircraft, we can offer our passengers not only a significantly expanded flight program, but also more attractive departure times," says Draskovits.
In the 2019 summer season, Monastir and Sharm El Sheikh will be newly included in the programme. Flight capacities to Antalya and Burgas will be doubled, and the Greek routes will be expanded by one weekly flight each to Heraklion and Rhodes. In addition, the regional tour operators have once again launched an extensive city and round trip programme.
According to Draskovits, there is a backlog demand in winter and in the scheduled flight segment.
"In winter at present with Egypt only one vacation country is offered starting from Linz. This means that we have a structural problem in winter on which we have to work. Our range of scheduled services must also become more comprehensive. We will have a great opportunity from the end of April to the end of May, since Turkish Airlines is relocating its daily Salzburg-Istanbul flights to Linz due to the closure of the runway in Salzburg. This gives us the unique opportunity to convince Turkish Airlines of the advantages of the Upper Austrian market in a field test. If this test works successfully, we will come much closer to our goal of establishing a regular flight connection between Linz and Istanbul".
KommR. Manfred Grubauer, Chairman of the Supervisory Board sees the current developments as positive. "2018 was a good year for the airport and the plans for 2019 also look promising. However, we are aware that the situation in aviation remains volatile and that we must expect new challenges at all times. It is therefore important that the management and the Supervisory Board always have their finger on the pulse of the times so that they can react quickly to current developments if necessary."
In recent months, Linz Airport has revised and sharpened its strategy in cooperation with the Supervisory Board and the owners. "The Upper Austrian economy is dependent on good scheduled flight connections. The strategy developed is conclusive and aims to establish additional scheduled flights. The challenge for the airport will now be to implement this goal with appropriate acquisition measures," said Markus Achleitner, Member of the Provincial Council for Economic Affairs and Business Development and owner representative of the Province of Upper Austria.
Mayor Klaus Luger, owner representative of the provincial capital Linz, emphasizes that the revival of the winter season is important not only for customers, but also for the entire Linz Airport location. "A wide variety of companies work at the airport to look after passengers and handle air traffic. In order to be able to guarantee a high quality of service throughout the entire service chain, a very good interaction between all companies is necessary. In addition, the upgrading of the winter season and additional scheduled flights play a central role."