BER Airport company to rely on debt relief

BERLIN – Against the backdrop of the global Covid-19 pandemic and a steep decline in passenger numbers, the Executive Board presented the draft of the 2021 business plan to the Supervisory Board on Friday, March 12, who duly took note of it and discussed it intensely.

The airport company is expecting significant revenue losses in the coming years. Low passenger numbers will continue to be expected as a result of ongoing travel restrictions. Around 10.7 million passengers are expected in 2021. The pre-crisis level of 2019 with 35.6 million passengers can probably only be achieved again in 2025, according to management estimates.

The Executive Board presented the financial situation and development prospects of the airport company to the Supervisory Board. The plan envisages that shareholders will provide FBB with just under EUR 1.9 billion in five yearly stages from 2022. Of this, EUR 1.1 billion is intended as partial debt relief for the airport company and around EUR 800 million as liquidity assistance. The plan is based on the assumption that coronavirus aid for the years 2020 and 2021 will be fully converted into grants, similar to the support provided to other industries that have been severely affected by the crisis.

The Supervisory Board of FBB supports this restructuring strategy. It recommended to the shareholders’ meeting that attainment of the company’s break-even point should be supported by capital injections compatible with the respective budgets and competition law – i.e. partial debt relief. The Supervisory Board commissioned the Executive Board to clarify the questions of aid at the European level as part of this. In the company, efforts to keep operating costs as low as possible and to only make absolutely necessary investment are to be further intensified.

The Supervisory Board granted Engelbert Lütke Daldrup’s request to terminate his employment contract on September 30th. The Executive Board and Supervisory Board also discussed the steps necessary for finding his successor. The decision process is being closely coordinated with shareholders and is being driven ahead at full speed.

Katja Rex, Managing Director of Hennigsdorfer Elektrostahlwerke, was welcomed as a new member of the Supervisory Board at the meeting. The Supervisory Board also decided to meet again on April 16th in order to further discuss succession plans as well as the current status of the annual accounts. In addition, the Supervisory Board retreat, which was cancelled at the beginning of the year due to the coronavirus, is due take place in May.

Rainer Bretschneider, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH: “At today’s meeting, the Supervisory Board set the course for gradually leading FBB out of the current crisis. Like all companies that have been as greatly affected by the coronavirus as we have, we have to think in long-term categories. With the business plan and the partial debt relief plan, the Executive Board has presented a good orientation for this. As regards personnel and structural decisions necessary given the departure of Mr. Lütke Daldrup, I am confident that we will soon be able to present solutions that ensure our capacity to act as a company and that are also strategically oriented towards the future.”

Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, Chairman of the Executive Board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH: “With the partial debt relief plan having been presented and already intensely discussed with our shareholders, FBB has now presented the Supervisory Board with a plan for how FBB can overcome the Corona crisis. Our common goal is to achieve financial independence for FBB as quickly as possible and thus make the company fit for the capital market. The sooner we achieve financial normality, the better the airport can contribute to bringing economic prosperity back to the capital region.”