In the wake of the Corona crisis, Skyguide’s earnings collapsed to an unprecedented extent in 2020. Moreover, air traffic has recovered only marginally this year. More than 80% of Skyguide’s revenue comes from fees paid by airlines for landing and overflight services. The lack of air traffic means that Skyguide’s earnings situation will remain critical in 2021. Losses for 2020 and 2021 are estimated at around CHF 280 million.
Last year, the Swiss government demanded cost-cutting measures amounting to some CHF 100 million as a condition for financial support for Skyguide. Skyguide is in the process of implementing this savings plan. Among other things, the company has taken pay measures – such as cutting the variable salary components for 2020 by a quarter, converting variable salary components into vacations and freezing salaries. The project portfolio has also been reduced to those projects which are relevant to safety or which will sustainably increase efficiency. Skyguide is achieving the latter primarily through its Virtual Centre program.
The Federal Council has now decided to grant Skyguide CHF 250 million in the form of a loan. A further CHF 100 million will be made available in the 2022 budget. The concrete need and use of these funds will depend on developments in the aviation sector. The federal government’s support is also subject to specific conditions. Skyguide intends to repay this loan over the long term.
“The ongoing situation in aviation and at Skyguide is unique. The Federal Council’s decision ensures that Skyguide, as one of the country’s critical infrastructures, can continue to provide all its services to civil and military aviation safely and reliably,” says Alex Bristol, CEO of Skyguide.