Schiphol sees recovery and invests in sustainability


Today, 18 February 2022, Royal Schiphol Group publishes its Annual Results for 2021. The recovery of air traffic at Royal Schiphol Group's airports was gradual last year, with a slow start, an upturn during the summer months, and then a slowdown at the end of 2021. Compared to 2020, the number of passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol increased by 22% to a total of 25.5 million, of which 19.9 million travelled in the second half of 2021. The number of passengers was 64% lower compared to the pre-pandemic year 2019. 

Schiphol connected the Netherlands to 296 destinations, 118 of which were intercontinental. Schiphol held Europe’s top spot for direct connectivity, as shown by the ACI connectivity report. Schiphol Group's underlying net result improved from a loss of 521 million euros in 2020 to a loss of 287 million euros in 2021.

Dick Benschop, CEO of Royal Schiphol Group: “It is our ambition to be a frontrunner in sustainability and quality. Two major trends will determine the way we travel: digitalisation and sustainability. We want to emerge from the crisis stronger. In 2021, our organisation shrank by 20%, but has become fitter. We keep a close eye on our spending, but continue to make high-level investments in safety, quality, sustainability and innovation, with a budget of 800 million euros in 2022. We expect further recovery in 2022. It is clear that people enjoy travel when it is possible. However, uncertainty remains since the race between vaccinations and mutations is still on in the world in 2022. We are looking forward to an important year with an agenda that will shape the future of the Group and of Schiphol.”

There were 266,967 air transport movements at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. That's a 17% increase relative to 2020 (227,304 air transport movements) but still 46% below 2019 (496.826 air transport movements). Cargo volumes at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol rose by 16% to 1.67 million tonnes. There were 23,997 cargo-only flights. That represents a 1% rise compared to 2020 (23,782 cargo-only flights) and a 70% rise compared to 2019 (14,156 cargo-only flights).

Air transport movements

 Amsterdam Airport SchipholEindhoven AirportRotterdam The Hague AirportTotal

The total number of passengers at Royal Schiphol Group airports in the Netherlands increased by 23% to 29 million (2020: 23.5 million).

Passengers (in millions)

 Amsterdam Airport SchipholEindhoven AirportRotterdam The Hague AirportTotal

The underlying net result for 2021 is a 287 million euros loss (2020: a loss of 521 million euros). Revenue increased by 18.6% to 816 million euros (2020: 688 million euros). Schiphol Group has applied for NOW government support (Noodmaatregel Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid) to the amount of 84 million euros. No bonuses for the Management Board and no dividends have been paid out.

The aviation revenue loss in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic can be settled with the airlines in future years. Also, Schiphol Commercial delivered a positive underlying result of 127 million euros in 2021. The combination of settlement of lost aviation revenue and diversification of its businesses provides Schiphol with sufficient opportunities to recover from the pandemic in the coming years

A significant fair value gain of 252 million euros on the valuation of the shares in Groupe ADP as a result of the expiration of the Hublink agreement was seen in 2021. This major non-cash adjustment along with other one-off results resulted in a positive net result of 105 million euros in 2021 (2020: loss of 419 million euros).

Underlying results

EUR million201920202021
Underlying EBITDA576-2060
Underlying Operating Result282-506-299
Underlying Net Result270-521-287

Schiphol Group invested 451 million in 2021, mostly in sustainability, innovation, service and safety. Main investments were the doubling of taxiway Quebec, the construction of the new Pier and the redevelopment of Departure Hall 1 with new security lanes. We continued to work together with TU Delft, HvA, NLR and the manufacturing industry in the Netherlands to turn our airports (Schiphol, Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Lelystad) into testing grounds, Living Labs for innovation in flying. We launched the Notifly-app which provides our neighbours with a personal 24-hour air traffic forecast in their area. Other investments were a trial with an autonomous baggage tractor, sustainable taxiing, research into new technology to reduce concentrations of ultrafine particles and participation in Synkero e-fuel plant.

Outlook for 2022 
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an adverse effect on passenger demand for air travel at Royal Schiphol Group’s airports. This demand was at a low level during the rst half of 2021, but trafc increased in the second half of the year. Although the trafc recovery remains uncertain and is subject to the development of COVID-19 and corresponding travel restrictions, Schiphol Group expects further recovery in 2022. In line with our earlier outlook we estimate that the recovery of passenger volumes to 2019 levels will not happen before 2024.

The full news release can be downloaded on the right side of this page.