Monday, October 24, 2016

Bratislava airport writes successful chapters of its history

The story of the M. R. Štefánik airport in Bratislava started to be written in 1947. Its latest chapters capture significant successes and more than 1,5 million passengers every year. A lot of them used and use our services not only to arrange transport in the capital city but also to arrange transfer between Bratislava and Vienna.

bratislava airport
Bratislava Airport M.R.Štefánika

Nearly 70 years have lapsed since the construction of 04 - 22 and 13 - 31 runways started at Bratislava airport. These decades could be characterized as a constant movement – not only in the air but also on the ground. The airport that lies only 9 kilometres north-east from the centre of Bratislava is constantly reacting to the increasing demands, technological progress as well as to the changes of the political climate.

The first phases

Regular flights from Bratislava airport started in 1951. The departure terminal with the new communication system was built in the next construction phase, further the passenger handling area was extended and the premises were created for Flying service of the Ministry of Interior. The complex reconstruction of the runway system executed in the 1980s brought, except others, significant extension of the runways. The arrival terminal was finished in the 1990s, later the fire station was built, the new control tower started its operation, the fuel warehouses were extended and the lighting and security system of the 13 – 31 take-off-landing strip was reconstructed. The airport was moved from category 6 to category 7 what made it possible to open also to large aircrafts.

New millennium

The beginning of the new millennium brought new breath to the largest airport in Slovakia that was related not only to the transformation of the Slovak Airport Administration to Letisko M. R. Štefánika – Airport Bratislava (BTS) joint-stock company but also to the preparation of Slovakia for joining the Schengen area. After the phytosanitary control centre was built to check the animate and inanimate goods passing through the airport, further investments followed in the field of additional services improvement and separation of the crew security check from the passengers check as well as the extension of the C terminal for the passengers from the Schengen countries. Joining the common European area by the airport has required further changes of the security check, moving the passport counters, dividing the departure terminal to two parts, building the departure bridges and other measures that were successfully finalized in 2008.

New terminal

Construction of the new terminal became the next challenge for Bratislava airport. The most significant project of civil aviation in the past few decades was realized between 2009 and 2012 under full operation of the airport and it consisted of not only the construction of the new departure terminal but also of a gradual demolition of the original terminal as well as construction of the second part of the new check-in hall in its place. At the beginning of 2016 the management of the Letisko M.R.Štefánika airport decided to rebuild the B terminal with the aim to use it for VIP flights during the Slovak Presidency in the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2016.

Rise and awards

Along with the construction of new premises and constant increase of the service level the management of Bratislava airport was able to improve the economy of the airport. The cumulated loss of the company decreased by 50% between 2012 and 2014 and one of the most important economic indicators EBITDA increased by 46% in 2014 compared to the previous year. After having met the 1 500 criteria and 5 basic conditions the airport received the Solvency Certificate awarded by Bisnode Slovensko in 2015. At that time the certificate was issued only to 7,8% of the Slovak companies. The rise of the Letisko M.R. Štefánika airport is proven also with its successes in the Skytrax – The World Airport Awards that is the world´s largest Airline Customer Satisfaction Survey. Bratislava airport is the seventh best airport in Eastern Europe based on the latest results of the survey.

Continuous growth of the number of passengers

Introduction of the new airport management in 2013, the related consolidation of the financial resources, restructuring of the airport company itself and implementation of the set network of airlinks model stand behind the awards mentioned above. All this is mirrored in the constant increase of the number of passengers. In 2015 Bratislava airport handled more than 1,5 million passengers what is 15,4% more than in 2014. And between January and May 2016 the airport recorded 31% more passengers compared to the same period of the previous year. The M.R. Štefánik airport offers 30 regular destinations in 15 countries and dozens of holiday resorts within the summer scheduling period. We experience an increase in the number of passengers also thanks to increasing demand for our transport services. We are pleased that there are more and more clients who prefer transfer in Bratislava or transport from Bratislava to Vienna in a luxury car and with an attitude above standard which is of special concern to us.