Kerkloh Continues his Munich Journey

Michael Kerkloh will head Munich Airport until the end of 2019. The Supervisory Board has just prolonged the contract of the 63 year-old manager, who is sitting on MUC’s driver seat since 2002.

Michael Kerkloh
Michael Kerkloh

Stated Markus Soeder, Bavaria’s Finance Minister and Chairman of the Airport’s Supervisory Board: “The decision is a thank you and gesture of the shareholder’s appreciation for an extremely successful airport management under the stewardship of Mr Kerkloh.” Soeder went on to say: “We are confident that the proven management keeps MUC on the course of success.”

Europe’s first “Five Star” airport
Kerkloh and his team have developed the airport to Europe’s best, recognized by the London-based Skytrax Institute who granted MUC the prestigious “Five-Star Airport” designation, making the hub the first airport in Europe to earn this recognition.  
Kerkloh’s next big challenge will be to convince Bavarian politicians to get their okay for building a much needed 3rd runway, or else there is no room for future traffic growth due to limited ground capacity. Even today, it is virtually impossible for airlines to obtaining a free slot at peak hours. Given the fact that a new runway wouldn’t be operational before 2024 at best, supposed green light is given by Bavarian politicians soon, airlines will have to deploy significantly larger aircraft in the coming years if they want to grow their passenger and cargo business at MUC.  
In 2016, Munich Airport generated a record profit totaling €150 million, an increase of €7 million y-o-y. Passenger numbers rose by 3.1 percent to 42.2 million, so did cargo volumes reaching a record level of 353,650 tons, surpassing the 2015 figure by 5.2 percent. 

25 years of proud history
How a newly built airport can positively affect the regional economy, creating ten thousands of jobs and develop into a main source of wealth documents the 25 year existence of Munich Airport. Unemployment in MUC’s vicinity is a foreign word in Erding, Garching, Neufahrn or any of the surrounding communities. “The local labor market hardly offers any personnel,” lamented a forwarding agent that runs a station at MUC on the occasion of the airport’s 25th anniversary. 
The place’s official opening took place on May 11, 1992, six days ahead of the launch of flights.

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Endangered future
MUC’s unprecedented rise began in the mid-1990s when former Lufthansa Chief Juergen Weber decided to base wide body aircraft at the Bavarian airport, this way kicking off long-haul services. Shortly after, MUC and LH agreed on jointly building Terminal 2, the first ever arrangement of this kind between an airport and a carrier.
Ever since, airlines flock to Munich, leading to rising passenger numbers and cargo volumes.
However, if the state of Bavaria should prohibit the construction of a third runway, following protests of action groups and concerns of the saturated middle class MUC’s success story might end once the ground capacity is exhausted. 

Heiner Siegmund

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