Swedish state-owned airports operator Swedavia has set out the commercial case for the early closure of Stockholm’s Bromma airport in an impact assessment carried out for the government in the light of the global pandemic.

While Swedavia, which operates 10 Swedish airports including Stockholm’s primary Arlanda gateway, is recommending the early closure of Bromma, it says a political decision to close the airport should be made taking a “broader social perspective” into consideration.

Following the drastic fall in air travel demand and industry-wide projections for a slow recovery to pre-crisis levels of traffic, the Swedish government asked Swedavia to carry out an impact assessment of the commercial considerations from the possible early closure of Bromma airport.

Bromma is the country’s third largest airport - though far smaller than Stockholm’s primary Arlanda airport - and handled 2.4 million passengers in 2019 on predominantly domestic routes.

”In Swedavia’s view, given the new market situation, the continuation of operations at Bromma is no longer justified on commercial grounds and a consolidation of air traffic in the Stockholm region at Stockholm Arlanda Airport is possible,” Swedavia’s chairman Ake Svensson says. ”However, it is essential that Arlanda has the long-term conditions to develop in line with the needs of society.”

Swedavia says it believes commercial air traffic can be handled at Arlanda in the short-term without bringing forwards any ’significant further investments’ in infrastructure.

But it adds: ”In the longer term, further investments in infrastructure are needed at and around Arlanda, regardless of whether Bromma is closed down in advance or not. These investments include an additional runway at Arlanda.”

Swedavia president Jonas Abrahamsson says: ”The aviation market is facing an unprecedented crisis. Bromma will most likely have excess capacity due to low traffic volume for a long time going forward. In the long term, the cost of this will be borne by passengers and already wounded airlines, which we do not believe is possible.”

Swedavia says that in addition, it is believed that Bromma will not be able to continue airport operations after 2038, when its current lease with the City of Stockholm expires.

Swedish regional carrier Braathens is the the largest operator at Bromma, while Cirium schedules data shows that British Airways, Brussels Airlines and Finnair all served the airport prior to the pandemic.