Frankfurt passenger numbers decline five per cent in 2009

Drops in passenger and freight demand were less severe than at first predicted, says Fraport, which saw over 50 million passengers in Frankfurt last year.

"With minus 4.7 percent on a moving annual total, passenger traffic performed better than originally expected," explained Schulte. Forecasts in October 2009 had still been for a loss of between five and six percent. Nonetheless, traffic figures for the full year 2009 declined overall. Airfreight tonnage dropped by 10.1 percent to 1.8 million metric tons. Airmail tonnage declined by a calculated 11.3 percent to well over 80,000 metric tons. Aircraft movements slipped by 4.7 percent to about 436,000 takeoffs and landings. Maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) shrank by 4.2 percent to 27.2 million metric tons.

Well over 3.8 million passengers recorded at FRA, represent a 2.3 percent rise on December 2008. Fraport executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte said with satisfaction: "Despite adverse weather conditions, this has been the first increase in passenger figures at our Frankfurt home base since May 2008. Thus, we have finally emerged from the trough of recession in the air transportation business."

The airfreight segment also continued its upward trend. Almost all traffic regions experienced double-digit growth in airfreight tonnage in December 2009. "Nearly 174,000 metric tons of airfreight represent a significant 29.1 percent gain over December 2008 and a fourfold increase over the 7 percent rise in November 2009," said Schulte.

In the face of the overall economic situation, the Fraport Group closed the 2009 year with a slight 2.6 percent drop in traffic to about 73.7 million passengers. Cargo also declined by 9.7 percent to 2.1 million metric tons.

The Fraport Group's five majority-owned airports (Frankfurt, Antalya, Lima, Burgas and Varna) welcomed a total of 5.1 million passengers in December 2009, up 4.3 percent year-on-year. Cargo throughput (airfreight and airmail) at these airports rose by 24.4 percent to almost 205,000 metric tons.

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