Hamburg Airport cautiously optimistic about 2022

Passenger numbers recovering slowly - airport operating CO2-neutrally
07 January 2022
Sicherheitskontrolle am Hamburg Airport

Around 5.32 million passengers passed through Hamburg Airport in 2021 - a rise of 17 per cent over 2020, but 69 per cent less than in 2019, a press release said Wednesday (January 5, 2022). The airport had planned for 8.5 million passengers at the beginning of 2021 and was cautiously optimistic about 2022.

Lower passenger numbers 

The airport had lowered its forecast for the first half of 2021 because demand was slow to recover due to the pandemic-related travel restrictions. From summer onwards, traffic figures rose steadily and reached their peak in autumn with more passengers than in 2019, said Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport. However, "December was much weaker than originally expected, and this level is expected to remain unchanged for the next few months. The winter will be tough," Eggenschwiler said.

Airport operating CO2-neutrally

Hamburg Airport has been CO2-neutral since late 2021 despite the sluggish recovery in passenger numbers. It will become the first major airport in Germany to receive the certification level 3+ of the Airport Carbon Accreditation from Airports Council International Europe (ACI) by late 2022. Air cargo throughput came to 21,800 tonnes in 2021 despite fewer passenger aircraft and reached almost pre-crisis levels. Throughput had more than doubled compared to 2020, Hamburg Airport said. 

Hamburg Airport to double traffic volumes in 2022

Reliable forecasts for 2022 remain difficult currently, Eggenschwiler said. Cautious planning is required. "Aviation was one of the first industries to be hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and will be one of the last to return to normal." However, initial feedback from the industry suggests that a possible recovery from Easter 2022 onwards could see a total traffic volume of 11 million travellers or about twice as many passengers in 2021.