Report on activity and sustainable development 2020

Bounce back : Interview with Augustin de Romanet Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe ADP

The return to normal air traffic levels will be very gradual over a long period. In Paris, we don’t anticipate volumes recovering to 2019 levels until sometime between 2024 and 2027.

How has Groupe ADP dealt with the impacts of the crisis on its employees?

Our first and immediate action was to ensure that our employees received maximum protection by providing health kits and personal protective equipment for those whose jobs are essential to airport operational continuity, with particular emphasis on maintenance, by making widespread use of teleworking and/or short-time working, and by providing constant management support to maintain the unity of our airport community in France and around the world. All our employees have shown a remarkable sense of duty and solidarity.

Having found ourselves in an unprecedented operational environment that forced Groupe ADP to adapt its economic and financial model, we made the choice to initiate a process of dialogue with employee representative organisations, which has resulted in a collective severance agreement involving no compulsory redundancies.

How would you describe the current outlook for a recovery in traffic volumes?

Returning traffic fully to its pre-pandemic level will be a gradual and very progressive process, which will vary depending on circumstances in specific destinations and countries, meaning that long-haul traffic volumes will recover more slowly. As a result of these factors, we don’t anticipate volumes recovering to 2019 levels until sometime between 2024 and 2027. Our traffic assumptions for 2021 are based on 35-45% of the 2019 level for our Paris airports and 45-55% at Group level.

Looking beyond purely these assumptions, air transport now faces the twin challenges of health and environmental concerns, both of which require the entire industry to reinvent itself. Until now, the development of our business lines has been dictated largely by growth in tourism and the number of people worldwide with the ability to travel. This health crisis has changed expectations, and the widespread adoption of new practices like video conferencing will have a lasting impact on business travel. The ecological and climatic emergency facing the world is also prompting more and more passengers to reconsider their relationship with flying, despite the fact that aviation is responsible for only 2 to 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is one of those industries leading the energy transition.

To bounce back, we must not only regain the trust of passengers by ensuring a safe and healthy environment right around the world, but also accelerate the energy transition to low-carbon aviation.