Service portfolioAviation

Important European hub airport

The Aviation business division enjoyed a successful fiscal year, setting a new passenger record. The division is responsible for FMG’s core business, it provides aviation infrastructure and services for airlines and passengers, and markets them.

Munich Airport is an important hub airport, where flights are bundled efficiently and in a manner that conserves resources. It can thus offer a multitude of destinations with a significantly lower number of flights than in pure point-to-point traffic. In this process, Munich Airport functions, in particular, as a European node. No other airport offers connections to as many European destinations as Munich. In the ACI’s Airport Connectivity Report, Munich Airport once again put in an excellent performance in 2018 and took eighth place with more than 35,000 transfer connections. Compared to the previous year, it was possible to increase the hub connectivity at Munich Airport by more than 23 percent. The share of transfer passengers, which has risen again in the interim to 37 percent, secures Munich Airport’s important hub function.

Munich’s growth is below average

In 2018, the passenger volume reached 46.3 million, an increase of around 3.8 percent and a new high. Measured against the growth rates of the European top ten (+ 5.5%) however, Munich’s increase was below the average. The number of take-offs and landings rose by 2.2 percent to around 413,000 aircraft movements. Despite the bottlenecks in the runway system, significant but below-average growth was thus recorded (sector average for top ten in Europe: + 4%). The growth dynamic was dampened predominantly also by the departure of the Air Berlin/Niki Group and the market exit of Transavia. These airlines had generated some nine percent of the movement volume in the line and charter traffic in Munich. In addition, there were many flight cancellations and delays in 2018 due to the extraordinary weather conditions in the first half of the year with numerous storms, and to various traffic problems caused by European air traffic control and overly optimistic plans by the airlines. In total, 8,811 cancellations were recorded, a year-on-year increase of around 74 percent.

Destinations with the highest passenger volume

Graphic: Destinations with the highest passenger volume
1) Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports
2) John F. Kennedy and Newark airports

Decline in freight transport

In 2018, approximately 351,500 tonnes of airfreight were transshipped, 3.1 percent less than in the previous year. This result reflects a slight economic slowdown. The smaller capacities for bellyhold cargo carried on long-haul passenger flights was another reason for this decline. In 2018, it accounted for just 84 percent of the airfreight volume, a two percentage-point decline on the previous year’s figure. This is because some of the new long-haul aircraft operating in Munich have a smaller load capacity than the predecessor models. This includes, for example, the A380, which while it takes a great deal more passengers than the A340, has a smaller freight capacity. Technical load restrictions in the B787 also led to a temporarily reduced offering of freight volume. On the other hand, the all-cargo transported on purely freight aircraft recorded an increase of 11.3 percent. Overall, the airfreight volumes in Munich in 2018 were on a par with the level for the previous year, because airfreight is also transported by truck from Munich to other locations and flown on further from there. The share of this trucked airfreight increased significantly.

Medium- and long-haul routes on the rise

The engine of growth at Munich Airport is still international tourist travel. Around one million additional air passengers were carried on the routes within Europe compared to the previous year. This represents an increase of approximately three percent. The passenger volume on long-haul routes increased by as much as seven percent. The main contributor to this increase was Deutsche Lufthansa, which expanded its long-haul route capacities significantly. Since the start of the 2018 summer timetable, five of their total of 14 large A380 aircraft have been deployed from Munich. In the summer timetable, the A380s flew daily to Hong Kong, Beijing and Los Angeles and reached very high levels of occupancy on all three routes. In total, the offering of inter-continental traffic from and to Munich in 2018 was larger than ever before. This is a further continuation of a long-term trend – the number of long-haul flights at Munich Airport has already increased by around 38 percent in the past ten years.

Munich compared with other European airports in 2018

Aircraft movements in line/charter traffic

Graphic: Munich compared with other European airports in 2018
Data as of: January 2019/Source: Airports Council International (ACI) Istanbul and Moscow: Details provided by airport operator itself

New record

Graphic: New record

Dense traffic network to numerous destinations

Graphic: Dense traffic network to numerous destinations

Lufthansa to increase its presence in Munich

Given the successful start to the A380 flights, Lufthansa is considering basing further A380s in Munich from 2020. The largest passenger aircraft in the world can only be used at particularly high-demand locations. Moreover, the fact that Deutsche Lufthansa wants to increase its use of aircraft with a first-class offering in Munich illustrates the great value-added potential of the location and the significance of Terminal 2 and the satellite buildings. Lufthansa also wants to expand Munich Airport into a hub for its Asian flights. In addition to increasing the frequency of flights to Seoul and Singapore, there will also be a once-daily flight to Bangkok from summer 2019. In addition, the connection to Osaka will be relocated from Frankfurt to Munich.

The hub airport: a successful model

A hub bundles flights in an efficient and resource-friendly
manner. This enables many different connections to be made
using a minimum number of aircraft.

Example: Connections between ten airports

Graphic:The hub airport: a successful model

The world moves closer

In 2018 there were also quite a few new connections from Munich. The Columbian airline Avianca has been flying five times per week from Munich to Bogotá since November 2018. At its home hub, the company which was crowned South America’s best airline by the London-based Skytrax Institute, offers passengers a broad network of connections. Lufthansa increased its offering in the short- and medium-haul route segment significantly and, in the long-haul segment brought Singapore back into its schedule again. The Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings operated up to three long-haul aircraft in Munich and served, alongside various continental destinations, the long-haul routes to Bangkok, Cancún, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Mauritius, Montego Bay, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Varadero, and Windhoek. Air China increased its Beijing service to one flight a day.

New additions to Terminal 1

The Norwegian airline Widerøe has been bringing air passengers to Bergen in Norway on its new Embraer E190-E2 since August 2018. In addition, airlines such as Condor and Volotea are consolidating their continental offering in Terminal 1. On the Berlin route, easyJet took over the Air Berlin flights and this significantly expanded its presence in Munich. The Tarom airline increased its offering to Romania, adding a second daily flight to Bucharest and direct flights to Sibiu. For 2019, American Airlines has also announced a new daily connection to Dallas. In European traffic, the British Airways CityFlyer will connect Munich to London City Airport three times a day.

Seat supply is increasing slightly

In 2018, flights to 264 destinations, two fewer than in the previous year, departed from Munich. The number of continental destinations increased from 181 to 185, while in domestic traffic with 18 destinations one airport fewer was served than in the previous year. The increased number of aircraft movements and the slight increase in aircraft sizes yielded a seat increase of around 2.5 percent.

Passenger structure in 2018

Graphic: Passenger structure in 2018

Airport Safety: new European specifications

Airport security and airport safety are of key importance for all airports. Airport safety encompasses the safe operation of aircraft and the guarantee of technical operational readiness of infrastructure and systems for the safe handling of airport operations. Munich Airport is obliged under the newly issued specifications of the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) to maintain certification according to European requirements. This includes fulfilling the airport operations-relevant standards in the areas of operation, organization, and infrastructure, the guarantee of EASA compliance, and the implementation of a safety management system in operations. The receipt of the operating license is linked to this. Munich Airport is also subject to regular inspections and controls by the responsible approval authority, the government of Upper Bavaria, South Bavarian Aviation Office.

Airport Rescue and Firefighting: important contribution to the high safety standards

The Airport Rescue and Firefighting service in Munich is responsible, on the premises of the airport, for fire safety, and for technical assistance in the area of fire safety in aircraft and buildings.

With its own rescue vehicle, it also provides 24-hour emergency assistance for passengers and employees. From the two fire stations, the crews can reach any point on the flight operation areas within 180 seconds. The extinguishing capacity carried meets the highest requirements in accordance with Category 10 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The crews and vehicles of the building fire service were newly distributed into the two fire stations in 2018 as part of a reorganization, so as to be best prepared for the challenges of the many building projects underway on the airport campus and to be able to keep to the stipulated rescue time frames in the future too. «Pro.Fit» ensures firefighters’ physical performance ability. Since March 2018, members of the Airport Rescue and Firefighting Service can train using this customized sports program.

FMG cooperating on European aviation standards

As part of the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) project, Flughafen München GmbH is participating along with six other large airport operators (London-Heathrow, Paris, Amsterdam, Zürich, Avinor (Norway), and Swedavia (Sweden)) on the further development of the European aviation system. The airport operators have formed a consortium called SEAC (SESAR European Airports Consortium), for which FMG has assumed the role of coordinator for 2018. EURCONTROL, Airbus, Thales, and renowned airlines are also participating in the research project. They are all pursuing the goal of making the organization and flow of air traffic processes more efficient and safer. FMG is actively involved in shaping project content. This includes, inter alia, the definition of an «Airport Operation Center», which in the event of serious disruptions is to find joint solutions with all those involved, as well as the optimization of the taxiing process between the runway and the aircraft’s parking position. Moreover, FMG is also working on the «Total Airport Management» project, dealing with fundamental processes and their improvement.

Special biotope management prevents bird strikes

Collisions between aircraft and large birds or flocks of birds can endanger the safety of flight operations. Using a special biotope management system, Munich Airport protects against possible collisions. These safety measures do not impact negatively on the protection of the birds that have made their home at Munich Airport.

  • The green areas around the runways are mown according to a concept that is adjusted to the local conditions.
  • There are no larger bodies of water for ducks and geese near the flight operation areas.
  • The drainage channels near the runways are spanned by steel ropes in order to make access difficult, in particular for waterfowl.
  • «Wildlife Management» employees monitor the bird population on the airport campus and in relevant biotopes within a 13 kilometer radius, in order to ward off potential dangers from bird flight movements at an early stage.

FMG works closely with the relevant partners and institutions on the topic of bird strike prevention, in particular with the airlines, German air traffic control, regional and higher-level authorities, and the GBSC (the German Bird Strike Committee). The statistics from the GBSC show that Munich Airport has had a relatively low bird strike rate for many years now. In areas 1 and 2, the average bird strike rates in Germany for 2018 were about 137 and about 268 percent higher respectively than the rates recorded for Munich Airport.

Wildlife strike-rates1)

2018 Area 1 Area 2
Munich 1.57 0.19
Average for German airports 3.72 0.70
1) Number of wildlife strike reports for aircraft per 10,000 aircraft movements. Due to changes in the reporting regulations, it is not only bird strikes, but all wildlife strikes, that must be reported. (Source: DAVVL (German Bird Strike Committee); as of: March 2019)
Area 1: Take-off 0–500 feet above ground; landing 200–0 feet above ground
Area 2: Take-off 501–1,500 feet above ground; landing 1,000–201 feet above ground