Frankfurt Airport (FRA) served 5,067,108 passengers in July 2008, down 2.4 percent compared to the strong July in 2007. Airfreight throughput also slipped by one percent last month to 172,529 metric tons. However, since the beginning of the year both passenger traffic and airfreight tonnage have continued to grow noticeably by strong rates of 1.4 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively, compared to the previous year.
The drop in passenger figures can be attributed to the weakening business environment, as well as the strike within the Lufthansa Group, without which the decline would have been about 0.4 percentage points smaller. Flight cancellations by Lufthansa, CityLine and Eurowings primarily affected domestic traffic, leading to an unexpectedly strong slide of well over 10 percent. Intercontinental traffic continued to be the only growth market (up 0.9 percent). Increasing 29.5 percent, South America remained at the crest of the growth wave.
Airfreight also declined for the first time this year. The main reason for this was the general economic conditions. Furthermore, the strong euro exchange rate curbed demand for goods from Europe.
Airmail tonnage slipped by 3.6 percent to 7,159 metric tons in July 2008, and aircraft movements dropped by 2.2 percent to 42,728 takeoffs and landings. In addition to approximately 500 strike-related flight cancellations, this was primarily due to regular cancellations and reductions in domestic services planned during the summer holiday period.
In contrast, accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) achieved a new July record at FRA. With 2,502,691 metric tons, MTOWs rose by 0.1 percent year-on-year and exceeded the previous July record in 2006 by well over 3,500 metric tons. Without the strike, the increase in MTOWs would have been about one percent higher.
The Fraport Group’s six majority-owned airports (Frankfurt, Frankfurt-Hahn, Burgas and Varna, Antalya, and Lima) together welcomed a total of 8,481,597 passengers in July 2008 (up 0.5 percent). Fraport’s Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN) low-cost airport in the Hunsruck region of Germany recorded 425,761 passengers – a gain of 3.5 percent in the vacation month of July 2008. The Fraport managed terminals at Antalya Airport (AYT) registered 1,347,652 passengers and a 11.7 percent surge – the highest growth rate in the group. Peru’s Lima Airport (LIM) welcomed 758,508 passengers in July 2008, 6.5 percent more than in the same month last year. With 563,594 passengers, traffic at Bulgaria’s Burgas Airport (BOJ) almost reached the previous year’s level (down 0.2 percent). Also located on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, Varna Airport (VAR) only received 319,538 passengers in July 2008 (down 10 percent).
Cargo throughput (airfreight and airmail) at Fraport’s airports climbed by 0.6 percent to 210,149 metric tons in the reporting month. Aircraft movements Group-wide rose by 0.9 percent to 70,811 takeoffs and landings.