Uwe Kotzan: The Erfurt-Weimar Airport Focuses on its Customers

Customer satisfaction should be of particular importance for every company – This goes for Erfurt-Weimar Airport as well. Learning, understanding and ­appreciating customer needs is a first major step to success.

Customer groups are very di­­verse and utterly contrary. First of alI, airports are associated with classical holidaymakers. Companies functioning as service providers at an airport, such as airlines, travel companies, travel agencies and business travellers, constitute important potential. Priorities lie clearly in the range of areas connected with air travel. dsc-3029With the extension and improvement to offers in hospitality, shopping and customer experience, the loyalty of additional customer groups to Erfurt Airport is growing. Busi­ness travellers are guaranteed increased comfort in a separate waiting area and separate access to the security area. That we intensively foster partnerships with airlines, travel companies and travel agents goes without saying. Travellers and service providers benefit, including – ultimately – Thuringia Airport and, by extension, its entire catchment area.

Erfurt-Weimar Airport can look back with satisfaction at its achievements to date and is seeing continual increases in both passenger and freight numbers.

The Berlin airline Germania is continuing to expand its offer for passengers from Erfurt. Besides the classical destinations of Egypt, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Hungary and Cyprus, the Erfurt-Weimar Air­port is also the regular starting-­place for special flights to major international centres on selected dates.

b-dsc-8554Erfurt Airport is extending its service from year to year in other areas of business as well. The airport festival, which was held again in 2015, offers an experience for thousands of visitors, especially families. The long-distance bus company “Berlinlinienbus” provides an additional transport hub starting at Er­­furt-Weimar Airport. “At the same time, we are ex­­pand­­ing services for our passengers as part of our service initiative,” emphasises in-house lawyer Jörg Eberhard, who is responsibl­­e for the non-aviation area. Events of all kinds, such as book readings, classical concerts, childrens’ and fringe theatre as well as opportunities to network, are establishing Erfurt-Weimar Airport as a communications platform for local residents and local business. The airport operates its own on-site café-restaurant facilities and offers its guests a broad selection of drinks and snacks in the AirBistro and the KaffeeBar, both groundside and airside. Now that the AirShop has re-opened at the terminal, passengers and visitors are finding an attractive offer of newspapers, magazines, books, travel guides, travel supplies, souvenirs and gift articles. This is rounded off by the re-opening of the duty-free shop.

Thanks to the joint efforts of all employees and continual co­­­operation with our partners, Erfurt-Weimar Airport has con­tinued its upwards trend of the last few years. The increase in the number of destinations reflects the confidence of our travel partners and shows the attractiveness of Erfurt Airport for passengers. The aim is to continue this stable development and moderate growth in all areas.

The increased needs of business passengers justify the new business travel terminal. Passengers can park right in front of the terminal, check in quickly and board their own or chartered aircraft a little later without any bureaucratic fuss, attend any important business appointments anywhere in Europe and fly back home in the evening. The important fac­­tors are safety, punctuality, comfort and convenience and, in particular, the time-savings. These time-savings are multiplied by their added value and those of your employees, which demonstrates the benefit of business flights even with higher costs when compared with travel by rail or by car.

So it’s not surprising that there are already hundreds of business flights each year. We constantly get enquiries about this effective method of business travel. For example, a company in the region which maintains several locations in Germany and abroad, sends its management-level employees on regular trips by car, which means that countless hours on the autobahn get wasted. When these employees return tired from their trip, the real work starts back at head office, let alone any same-day return journeys. If it were up to this and other companies, then this must be stopped as soon as possible.

With this clear aim in mind, the formerly decommissioned Terminal A was reactivated and converted to the requirements of business customers. A comfortably-furnished lounge, free WLAN and the service facilities of an international commercial airport characterise the image locally. Business travellers can work here or relax or rest in a personalised atmosphere until they board their aircraft. Even when arriving at the airport, short and easy access from the business terminal to the public area offers additional comfort.

Our flexibility allows us to guarantee quicker and more efficient handling and reaction-times. And customs clearance for non-EU citizens is also part of our perfect service. This and the latest technology create synergies of cost and time efficiency which are available to you and your business partners.

In times when money is short, the airport management quickly realised that the conversion in the envisaged time could only be accomplished with the full and dedicated commitment of our own employees. The new business travel terminal at Erfurt-Weimar Airport was handed over in a record time of only three months and passed its baptism of fire at the Arraiolos meeting of the non-executive heads of state of the European Union hosted by German President Gauck in 2015.

dsc-7137Even in a very success­­ful 2014, the airport continued its consolidation course uninterrupted. With the establishment of HAITEC VIP Maintenance GmbH at the airport, repair and maintenance services for business jets are now available. Even business travel clients can now benefit from the new services offered and find the airport management to be a competent contact and partner: we regard ourselves as a service partner for “time machines” and make business travel quick and effective – 24 hours a day and in all weathers.

Erfurt-Weimar Airport is an important and attractive location factor for Thuringia – and will remain so.

autorenbild_kotzanUwe Kotzan
The author has been managing director of Flughafen Erfurt GmbH since 2013. He began his career in traffic management at Rostock-Laage Airport. From 1995 he worked at Flugplatz Schwäbisch Hall GmbH, which he managed from 2004 – 2012.