How is 2012 shaping up for route development?
There is a lot going on at our airports, here are some examples: Gothenburg–Moscow (Yamal Airlines), Stockholm–Arlanda–Dublin (Aer Lingus), Barcelona (Vueling), and five new European routes: Dubrovnik, Barcelona, Malaga Reykjavik and Alicante with SAS.
There is also an expansion in the long-haul market. In June, Air China will upgrade its Stockholm service (improved product and a daily service); Ethiopian Airlines will operate a non-stop service to Addis Ababa (Ethiopian is today operating Stockholm–Addis Ababa via Rome) and Thai Airways will start a non-stop service between Stockholm and Phuket from November.
Malmö–Visby, Malmo Aviation, Ryanair is operating five new routes: Barcelona, Pisa, Malta Wroclaw and Palma) Kiruna–Copenhagen (SAS). Norwegian has been growing fast and regularly adding new routes, for example Stockholm–Arlanda–Amsterdam, Riga, Vaasa and Gothenburg–London.
Who are your fastest growing airlines?
Norwegian is expanding most quickly. During the summer they are actually shifting their operations from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5 at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport so that we can accommodate their growth in the years to come. At Malmö Airport, we have seen expansion from Ryanair which makes Malmö a quick growing airport for low-cost carriers (LCCs) in the Øresund region.
Looking at destinations, we can see Turkey and in particular Istanbul expanding rapidly from Sweden, both as a hub and as a final destination. Turkish Airlines has also been expanding rapidly during the last year.
What characteristics does a route planner need to have?
I believe that it is important to be open minded, outgoing and analytical. You need to be able to understand different customers’ needs and perspectives, and at the same time it is great if you have the ability to think outside the box.
How did you start your career in aviation?
I have been in the aviation industry for many, many years. I did business administration and finance at the university, so I started my career working for an airline within the finance department. I have been with SAS for many years within different positions, finance, marketing and sales, cargo and network.
I have now been with Swedavia, working for the airports for a little more than 18 months and I really enjoy working at the airport with many different customer airlines.
How big a percentage of your traffic is low-cost?
At Stockholm-Arlanda Airport almost 30% of the scheduled capacity is with low-cost carriers (LCCs). Looking at frequencies, the LCCs constitute less than 20%. At the other airports there are big differences according to very different market conditions. Charter is an important segment at many of our smaller airports. In total, charter still represents almost 20% of total international passengers at Swedavia’s airports.
What new markets or airlines are on your wish list?
I would love to see expanded services to Asia, there is definitely room for more capacity. We do also need more capacity to North America; a non-stop service to the US west coast would be great. Canada and Brazil are also two very interesting markets that attract both business and leisure travellers.
What are your fastest growing markets?
We have experienced rapid growth during the last two years with passenger numbers at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport increasing by almost 20%. Neighbouring countries, large European cities and the Mediterranean are still the core destinations for Swedavia’s airports. However, we can see Turkey growing rapidly together with, among others, destinations in eastern parts of Europe, China and destinations in the Middle East.
In the long-term, we see the fastest growth in the intercontinental segment. The macroeconomic situation in Sweden is much better than in many parts of Europe and both passengers and airlines recognise Sweden as the wealthy and healthy growing country that we are. Foreign visitors coming to Sweden were responsible for more than 80% of the growth in international passengers at Swedavia’s airports in 2011.
How is cargo performing at Stockholm-Arlanda?
The long-term trend is that air cargo is growing. However, during the last year we have had a decline that has erased the growth we experienced in 2009 and 2010. Sweden is very dependent on foreign trade and air cargo is very dependent on the macroeconomic situation around the world.
The last year has been turbulent in many parts of the world, however, we have been investing in our cargo facilities and see a large potential in moving a lot of the trucked air freight to aircraft operating directly from Stockholm-Arlanda Airport in the future.
How do Swedavia’s landing fees compare with others in the region?
We are very competitive. However, you cannot look at the actual landing fee without looking at the entire visit cost. The charges structure at airports have become more complex as competition among airports have increased. We have a very competitive incentive programme with marketing support, new destination discount and passenger increase bonus.
Who most inspires you?
My family, my friends and my colleagues. The people I meet in my daily life, they are great.
If you were not working in aviation what would you do?
I think it would be nice to work as a consultant (that means you meet and help different people and companies to solve their problems and needs) or I would go back to university to become a veterinarian.
If you won €1 million what would you do with it?
I would take my family to Africa on a safari trip, I would buy a dressage horse and possibly also a new house and a stable. I would also give some money to organisations like Doctors Without Borders and Hand in Hand.