The new Management Board team at Vienna Airport (VIE), Austria, has formed plans to safeguard the future of the airport, including growth strategy and modernisation investments. The Board is focussed on productivity improvement, cost reduction and an increase in the “feel good factor” of the airport.
VIE’s Chief Financial Officer Günther Ofner explained the decision: “A growth strategy and modernisation investments are the keys to safeguarding the future of Vienna Airport,” he said. “We need to provide better service for our customers, cut costs and increase productivity. Our earning power must become substantially stronger to support further growth and investments.”
Julian Jäger, Chief Operating Officer, explained the outcome of the airport’s current investments: “Work to complete the SkyLink is well underway and the new terminal will provide an entirely new quality experience for travellers and airlines. We must then continue this course and accordingly, make certain preparations today.
“Because growth doesn’t just happen, it must be actively planned and developed,” he said.
A number of organisational changes have already been made in order to strengthen efficiency. The Center Management – Retail and Gastro business unit has been restructured and now reports to Mr Jäger. This means that all terminal-related business is under a single reporting line, thus facilitating the adjustment and better providing for passengers.
Similarly, central management functions for procurement and controlling were also restructured to support more effective cost management. It now reports to Mr Ofner, who is also responsible for construction and real estate.
The main strategy formed by the Board is to reduce costs in all areas of the corporation, including personnel. A hiring freeze has been introduced, meaning that additional staff will only be added in justified individual cases. Positions “vacated by normal turnover” will not be filled and redundancies will be avoided (except in extreme events, such as a sharp decline in growth). Productivity must improve by at least 20% over the mid-term in order for the airport to “shoulder the planned investments and finance the growth course without a sizeable increase in debt.”
Investments of over €600m are planned up to 2015, including the adaptation of the airport’s Terminal 2, the runway infrastructure and other projects. The new strategies are a result of the forecasted increase in passenger traffic to around 30 million per annum by 2020. The Board says its main objective is to provide travellers with a “modern, feel-good atmosphere.”
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