Passenger numbers grew 6% year-over-year in 2010 to 35 million. Freight was up 27% to 300,000t, marking the largest increase in the 19-year operational history of the Bavarian hub.
"Munich Airport will have perspectives for long-term, sustainable growth only with the planned expansion of the runway system," says Munich Airport chief executive Michael Kerkloh. The company started the planning process for an additional parallel runway to the northeast of the existing two runways in 2005.
Construction of a satellite building for Terminal 2, which is to increase the airport's capacity by 11 million passengers, is scheduled to begin this year.
The increase in traffic occurred "much sooner" after the economic downturn than expected, says Kerkloh.
The results would have been higher still had traffic not been disrupted by the Lufthansa pilot strike in February, the volcanic ash cloud in April and severe winter weather at the beginning and end of the year. These disruptions caused the number of takeoffs and landings to fall by 1.7% to 390,000 in 2010.
The higher passenger volume was achieved by the deployment of larger aircraft, mainly by Lufthansa and its partner airlines. The average maximum take-off weight of aircraft operating at the hub grew from 68t to around 73t.
Preliminary financial data suggest a 2010 profit of €125 million ($170 million) after taxes and depreciation. However, these earnings will be fully used to repay outstanding loan interests to the airport's three government shareholders: the state of Bavaria (51%), Federal Republic of Germany (26%) and city of Munich (23%).
This profit was partly due to restructuring the airport's former, loss-making ground-handling operations in January 2010. The respective employees were outsourced to a newly-formed, wholly-owned subsidiary, AeroGround, which offered a more "competitive wage structure", says the airport.