Schiphol Group is an airport company and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is its principal airport. We aim to create sustainable value for our stakeholders, with due regard for their various interests. All our actions reflect our key values: reliability, efficiency, hospitality, inspiration and sustainability.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is a well-equipped international airport that offers state-of-the-art facilities to 99 airlines which, in 2013, carried a total of 52.6 million travellers and over 1.5 million tonnes of cargo from Schiphol to destinations all over the world. For our operations we depend strongly on our home carrier KLM and its SkyTeam partners, which account for approximately 70% of all air traffic to and from Schiphol. Via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, passengers and cargo can reach 323 direct destinations worldwide, several times per day or per week. In addition, our regional airports - Eindhoven Airport and Rotterdam The Hague Airport - offer numerous flights to destinations within Europe.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the high-quality network offered by KLM, its partners and other airlines, and the attractive Amsterdam metropolitan region have jointly developed into what we refer to as Mainport Schiphol. As this name suggests, Schiphol is more than just an airport with a global network. The Mainport serves as a hub of businesses and activities that all reinforce each other. Together, they create an international and multimodal junction where flows of people, goods, information, knowledge and culture all converge.
The activities at Schiphol are an important engine that drives the Dutch economy and generates employment. Every year, aviation adds over 26 billion euros to the Dutch gross domestic product. The Schiphol site alone accommodates some five hundred companies that provide jobs for approximately 65,000 employees. The Amsterdam region offers an attractive business climate for internationally oriented companies and institutions. Thanks to its network of destinations, Schiphol is one of Europe's four major airports. This is a remarkable achievement, considering its relatively small domestic market in the Netherlands.
In order to consolidate and expand this position, we will be investing in capacity and quality improvements over the coming years. This will include large-scale adaptations to the terminal, gates and piers in anticipation of future market demand. Renovation work started in July 2013 and will take several years to complete.
Schiphol is our principal airport and we operate it as an AirportCity: a dynamic metropolitan area offering travellers and airlines all the services they need, 24 hours a day. Our three complementay and mutually reinforcing business areas bring the AirportCity formula into practice. Serving travellers, airlines and ground handling agents, the Aviation business area has a pivotal role at the airport. Aviation supplies and manages the infrastructure that is required to ensure pleasant, reliable and efficient arrival and departure processes for travellers, baggage and cargo. The Consumer Products & Services business area offers travellers a range of products and services that guarantee a carefree, comfortable and enjoyable travel process. The Real Estate business area develops and manages real estate at and around the airport. The airport area is an attractive environment for companies, offering a huge variety of high-quality real estate in the form of offices, industrial premises and logistics facilities.
Schiphol Group also holds interests in three regional airports: Rotterdam The Hague Airport (wholly owned), Eindhoven Airport (51% interest) and Lelystad Airport (wholly owned). These three airports each develop their own market position. In future, the importance of Eindhoven Airport and Lelystad Airport will increase as they will be used to accommodate non-Mainport-related traffic.
We carry out our international activities in order to strengthen Schiphol Group and the Mainport. To that end, we seek partnerships with major international airports that are of particular significance to the Mainport. We collaborate closely with our partner Aéroports de Paris, in which we have an 8% cross-participation interest. In addition, we are involved with Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport in New York, and we are involved in airports in Australia, Hong Kong, Aruba and Sweden. Over the past two decades, many of these activities have seen positive development. In all, they account for over a quarter of Schiphol Group's results.
Network of partners
At Schiphol we collaborate with partners, government organisations and other parties in a variety of networks. Our operations at Schiphol depend not only on airlines, but also on air traffic control, the slot coordinator, the national government, the provincial and local authorities, local residents, handling agents, security companies, customs and the Dutch Border Police (Koninklijke Marechaussee). While these parties have their own roles and responsibilities, our close, long-term and constructive collaboration with each of them is key to successful and sustainable airport operations.
An enterprise with a socio-economic function
Our airports play an important socio-economic role. In order to safeguard the continuity of our activities in the highly competitive aviation sector, Schiphol Group pursues a robust financial policy. Rather than maximising profits, Schiphol Group aims to achieve a reasonable return on its equity based on moderate increments in airport charges and a stable dividend distribution trend. We continually invest in our infrastructure and facilities, and finance these investments independently. For this reason it is crucial for us to have easy access to the capital market and to maintain our current credit ratings (S&P's A+ and Moody's A1). This solid position enables us to continue fulfilling our socio-economic role and contribute to the strength and appeal of the Dutch economy.
Schiphol also continues to further incorporate sustainability principles into its operations. Social and ecological considerations go hand in hand with economic decisions. Our operations reflect social values and together with our stakeholders we collaborate on various themes that are relevant to our business: sustainable employment, accessibility and air quality, climate-friendly aviation, commodity shortages and noise and the local environment.
We are engaged in an active dialogue with our stakeholders on the impact of these themes. As the central coordinating entity at the airport we encourage our partner businesses and organisations to reflect a firm commitment to sustainability. Due to the position and fucnction of Schiphol in Dutch society, aviation activities increasingly serve as a breeding ground for new and innovative technologies and, as such, constitute an attractive environment for businesses and employment.