We use cookies on this website.
By using this website, you consent to how we use cookies. You can obtain more information and find out what settings you can change here.

We shall be a Swedish growth engine

Sweden’s airports continue to meet a growing need for travel internationally as well as within the country’s borders. With a stable economic foundation, the conditions are created that enable Swedavia’s airports to invest long-term in Swedish access. At the same time, it gives us scope to carry out improvements for both customers and employees as well as take part in the industry’s transition to reduced dependence on fossil fuel.

On the journey of change that Swedavia embarked on when it was formed in 2010, we have taken many steps toward our vision, ”Together we bring the world closer”. Through our airports, all kinds of different opportunities have been created. Swedish companies can hold their own in international competition, and international companies fi nd it attractive to invest in the Swedish market. People can live and work in different places and create new experiences through exchanges with other cultures.

Photo of Karl Wistrand, President and CEOOur journey has a goal of its own, with our role being to work together with others, including airlines, to meet the expectations of each and every passenger. Our driving force is that we see that we can make a difference for customers, our owner and our employees. At the same time, we are reducing
our own emissions of fossil carbon dioxide.

Sweden as an aviation market

Sweden is attractive as a market for air travel in many ways. We have a special geography, strong export industries, a tourism industry that is one of the country’s fastest growing basic industries, and a multicultural population. More than two and a half million people with a foreign background live in Sweden. This is a strong customer group, as airlines have seen, so they are investing in their capacity in a number of places in Sweden.

Air travel is no longer simply for business – it is something more. Throughout 2015, air traffic continued to grow, and we set new records at seven of our airports. Trends such as globalisation and urbanisation are behind this growth, but another important explanation is the increased access to direct routes available. We know that direct routes drive demand, so we work continuously to increase the number of non-stop routes from our airports, both in Europe and to other continents. In order to succeed in attracting new air links, it is important that we make our own investments and that we show airlines that there are good business opportunities here, with an attractive destination combined with competitive airport charges.

Concrete environmental work that produces result

There is a clear understanding today of the importance of aviation for Sweden’s development, but also that it must go hand in hand with a sustainable environmental perspective. As a State-owned company, it is furthermore important that we act as a role model in all areas of sustainability, which is why we, together with our owner, strive to take a comprehensive approach in our operations.

Our environmental work has made us a leader in climate issues, something that everyone at Swedavia is proud of. We support the Swedish government’s initiative ”A fossil-free Sweden” and we are working to achieve our 2020 target of zero fossil carbon dioxide emissions from our own operations. So far, we have met and exceeded all our sub-targets, and the chances are good that we will go all the way in achieving entirely fossil-free operations in 2020.

Just as important is our work to reduce the environmental impact of the entire industry. One measure to achieve this is our active membership in the Fly Green Fund, where we are a driver in pushing for increased use of renewable aviation fuel. We have also decided to establish a service that entails, among other things, fuelling with renewable fuel to offset the amount consumed by Swedavia in our business travel. It is important for us to show concrete measures.

Environmenal permit is crucial

One of the most important events in 2015 was the entering into force of Stockholm Arlanda Airport’s environmental permit after the Swedish Supreme Court rejected all appeals.

The restrictions in our previous environmental permit were our greatest strategic risk, something that could have prevented us from continuing to develop Sweden’s largest airport and thus could have hampered Swedish growth. Stockholm is projected to be the fastest growing metropolitan area in western Europe through 2030, but this of course requires that people can get both to and from the city. We now have the conditions in place to develop Stockholm Arlanda Airport into Scandinavia’s leading airport.

In the first phase, development will entail the expansion of the terminal properties, while our long-term work for additional runway capacity continues.

Engaged employees

Operating an airport is teamwork, and our motivated, engaged employees are the key to our achieving success. In 2015, we reached the level of 86 per cent satisfied employees. Although such measures have a short shelf life, we have already met and exceeded our target of 85 per cent for 2020.

Our efforts in corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion have made us an attractive employer and at the same time provide business advantages. Our target is to have 23 per cent of employees with a foreign background in 2018. Today that figure is 14 per cent. Similarly, we would like to increase the share of female employees from 34 to at least 40 per cent. We also take it as a given that we and our partners follow the principles laid out in the UN Global Compact.

More satisfied passengers

In 2015, we had 76 per cent satisfied passengers, which is an increase over 2014, although we did not meet our target in full. It also means that we have a way to go to reach our target of 85 per cent for 2020.

Satisfied employees have an impact on passenger satisfaction, although there is a lag. Similarly, some of those who provide service on our behalf are employed by partners. This limits our potential to work directly with passenger satisfaction in all forms of customer contacts, but we work well together and they do a good job. We are also working further with training and new processes, investing in infrastructure and developing our commercial concept. We remain convinced that our measures will enable us to achieve our goal in time.

Financial stability

In financial terms, we achieved our 2015 target of seven per cent return on operating capital by a good margin. Meanwhile, for the first time we were able to pay a dividend to our owners, something that was decided at our Annual General Meeting in the spring of 2015. We have therefore achieved the financial stability that we believe will be maintained in economic upturns and downturns, but because of our expanded investment programme, we need to further develop our commercial business.

Furthermore, we continuously monitor our organisation in order to always ensure efficiency and the potential for competitive airport charges for airlines. On April 1, 2015, our charges were also reduced by an average of 3.7 per cent, which creates incentive for further airline investments in line with  Sweden’s needs. Given our passenger growth, it is of course also vital that Swedavia fully implements measures to enhance capacity mainly at Bromma Stockholm Airport, Göteborg Landvetter Airport
and Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

Societies built on access

We are now headed toward 40 million passengers a year, more than 100,000 a day, at our airports.
That means we need both the right infrastructure and new collaborations in order to continue growing. Next in line is the new airport maintenance area and a new pier for Terminal 5 at Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

We are also planning new office, logistics and hotel buildings at Göteborg Landvetter Airport and Stockholm Arlanda Airport. During the year, we established strategic partnerships with Alecta and Bockasjö in our real estate operations. Naturally, it is very exciting that new stakeholders see business opportunities in partnership with us. In a longer-term perspective, we see new
airport cities taking shape, with companies and thousands of jobs in the vicinity of our airports. We see Stockholm and Uppsala growing into a single metropolitan area and together with Stockholm Arlanda Airport being a powerful growth engine for the entire region.

A similar development is taking place in Gothenburg, as the city becomes linked to Borås, with Göteborg Landvetter Airport connecting the two. This will be an exciting, new kind of society based on access, with regional mass transit interwoven with global transit, which enhances Sweden’s competitiveness. Although a great deal revolves around Stockholm and Gothenburg, I would like to make it clear that all our airports are important. They are crucial to their regions, but they also have national importance in our common task to link Sweden’s regions together. Our airports constitute a comprehensive system, and it is in partnership with each other and with the regions that the access
Sweden needs is created.

Local collaboration with the regions and national collaboration with industry participants have given us and the air travel industry a strong voice that has contributed to growth. Our employees, especially in airport operations, have made great efforts to handle the passenger growth we have seen. In light of this successful work, I look forward to 2016. Swedavia now continues its journey forward. We invite you to join us.

Karl Wistrand
President and CEO