MCG (Messe Congress Graz Betriebsgesellschaft m.b.H.) acquires a 6% stake in Graz airport as a strategic partner.
The coronavirus pandemic is having sustained negative effects on the entire air and travel industry and thus also on Graz airport of course. After 2019, the best year in its history, the airport was preparing for further growth. Flights started to be cancelled in the first half of March and the resulting lockdown led to around three months without any normal scheduled or charter services; as a result, expectations had to be revised downwards. With just under 200,000 airline passengers, a decline of 81% was posted in 2020.
Günter Riegler, city councillor responsible for finance and shareholdings: “As Graz airport is of inestimable importance for Graz as a technology, innovation and tourism/conference location, we considered along with Holding Graz and the management which strategic measures we could take to strengthen and support it. One point here is a capital increase by around EUR 2.3 million which will be made by the entry of the MCG Group into the group of strategic shareholders of the airport.”
Holding Graz CEO Wolfgang Malik: “Another very fundamental point in our considerations is the networking on the one hand with the MCG trade fair and congress group as a fundamental location factor for tourism, congresses, sport and trade fair events. And the ever close links between Graz airport and non-governmental institutions such as the Economic Chamber, Chamber of Agriculture, banks and private shareholders of the trade fair group.
Riegler: “These three pivotal motives were the thoughts behind my suggestion to transfer a 6% stake in the airport to the MCG Group in return for a capital increase in the amount of around EUR 2.3 million. I am confident that we have thus strengthened Graz airport further in difficult times and that we will return again to the passenger figures planned in the medium term once the Covid crisis has ended. I would also like to emphasise that we are still fighting to be awarded federal aid for the airport.”
Strategic partnership sealed: Holding Board director Gert Heigl, Holding CEO Wolfgang Malik, Graz airport managing director Jürgen Löschnig, Graz airport managing director Wolfgang Grimus, city councillor Günter Riegler, MCG Board director Armin Egger, MCG Board director Barbara Muhr (from left).
Statements by MCG in this regard:
Barbara Muhr, Board member at MCG: “Graz airport was and continues to be a strategic partner of MCG. Like Graz airport, as another company in the Graz group, MCG also has a high business and strategic interest in ensuring that after the Covid-19 pandemic is over the good flight connections to the destinations that have been served up to now and in particular to the important hubs are restored as quickly as possible.”
Armin Egger, Board member at MCG: “Due to our international business activities and our intention to increase these international links further, we as MCG do of course have a strong interest in a functioning and internationally linked airport as a mobility hub. We also see it as an important task to strengthen Graz as an industrial location. The even more extensive links as a result will create new synergies and enhance our areas of activity.”