Half of airport leaders worry about their financial stability despite bounce back of the aviation industry, according to a newly published report.

The report, from intelligent airport management platform AeroCloud, reveals that despite passenger demand rising to near pre-pandemic levels, 52% of airport leaders are still worried about their financial stability, with 37% reporting that they are still in debt.

New research among 200 airport leaders, outlined in the Getting on the Runway to Growth report, has revealed 48% still haven’t seen their revenues recover since the slowdown caused by the pandemic. The report also found respondents’ joint top-rated commercial priorities as increasing growth margins and optimising and increasing capacity for take-off and landing slots (both 92%).

However, airports face a number of hurdles in achieving this growth. These include sluggish passenger growth and spending, with 62% of respondents worrying that passenger numbers won’t recover to pre-Covid levels, and 70% predicting the cost-of-living crisis will impact spending with concession partners. Staff issues is another concern, with 62% of airports saw their inability to hire sufficient staff to meet rising flight and passenger volumes as a risk to operations over the next 12 months. More than two-thirds (69%) fear the impact of disruptive events outside of their control, whether delayed flights, air traffic faults or extreme weather, while 74% considered flight cancellations as having a particularly negative impact on their reputation among passengers.

George Richardson, CEO and co-founder, AeroCloud, said: “The overall outlook for the aviation industry is strong after what has been a difficult few years. But not all airports are benefiting from this bounce back yet. Many are still struggling with the impact of staffing issues and flight disruption on their operations, as well as their ability to boost their revenue. While every airport has its unique challenges and opportunities, our research found airport leaders have common strategies in how they plan to boost their growth in the year ahead.”

Airport leaders also identified four areas where they see opportunities to boost their growth: attracting new airlines, boosting passenger experiences, increasing passenger spending, and transforming airport operations.

Image: AeroCloud