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Munich Airport celebrates 20th anniversary at new site on May 17th

  14.05.2012    

On its 20th anniversary, Munich Airport can look back at an unparalleled success story. In the two decades since opening on May 17, 1992, the airport's rapid growth has led to a relentless rise in the rankings of European airports, culminating – so far – in a number six ranking among Europe's top 10 airports in 2011. Even more impressive than the traffic statistics is Munich's popularity with passengers. Over the past eight years, the Bavarian hub has earned the title of Europe's Best Airport six times in the global passenger survey conducted by Skytrax, the respected London-based aviation consultancy, and has twice ranked second.
Since it opened, Bavaria's gateway to the world has handled nearly 500 million passengers. To put this figure into perspective: after just 20 years of operation, the new airport has already handled about three times as many passengers as the old Munich-Riem Airport saw in its entire history from 1949 until it closed on May 16, 1992.
Annual growth in passenger traffic has averaged 6 percent during the airport's first two decades. This is significantly higher than the average
increases posted by all other German airports during the same period (3.7 percent). Munich has also experienced above average gains in take-offs and landings. During the 20 years at the new location, the number of aircraft movements has passed the 6.5 million mark and increased at an average annual rate of 4 percent. The volume of airfreight handled over the first 20 operating years adds up to 3.1 million tonnes, and has shown an impressive average annual growth rate of 7.3 percent.
One of the main driving factors behind the unrivalled success of Munich Airport is its development into one of Europe's leading hubs. It began in the mid-1990s with the decision by Lufthansa to station two long-haul aircraft in Munich for the first time. That marked the start of a steady expansion in hub traffic in Munich. The percentage of passengers changing planes in Munich has more than tripled from 12 percent in 1992 to 40 percent today. Lufthansa now operates a fleet of 125 aircraft in Munich, including 24 wide body jets for intercontinental traffic. The thriving hub traffic at Munich Airport benefits in particular the people and the economy of Bavaria by providing them with fast and direct access to 241 destinations in 70 countries around the world.
With Terminal 2, which Munich Airport has jointly operated with Lufthansa since the summer of 2003, and the satellite terminal currently under construction and due for completion in 2015, the airport’s annual passenger handling capacity will rise to 50 million. Now it is an urgent priority to move forward decisively with the expansion of the runway system. For some time now, the two existing runways, which have a capacity of 90 schedulable aircraft movements per hour, have been fully "booked up" during peak periods.
In line with its dynamic traffic growth, Munich Airport is constantly gaining power as a motor of the economy and “job generator”. In its inaugural year, Munich Airport provided employment for 12,000 people. Today the 550 companies and public authorities employ a total workforce of more than 30,000. Because each new job at the airport results in another job being created in the surrounding region, the airport's impact on employment can be felt far beyond the perimeter fence.
In addition to the dense network of European routes – with more European destinations than any other airport – passengers at Munich Airport have an attractive range of intercontinental destinations available to them. The number of weekly take-offs and landings to intercontinental destinations – such as New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Beijing, Singapore, Bangkok and Tokyo – has increased fivefold, from 52 to 278, since the start of hub development in 1995. By establishing excellent connections to the world-wide air transport route map, Munich Airport now yields significant competitive advantages for the entire southern German economy in global competition among regions. The new satellite terminal and the planned third runway will create the necessary conditions to enable Munich Airport to continue serving as a reliable infrastructure facility and job engine for the state of Bavaria and city of Munich in the future.


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