Passenger numbers still well below pre-pandemic levels – Further strong rise in demand for cargo flights – Fraport’s Group airports worldwide witness a modest upward trend
Despite the ongoing and widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, aviation traffic is beginning to recover: in May 2021, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) welcomed 1.25 million passengers. This is a 356.9 percent year-on-year increase over May 2020. However, this is compared with a low base value for the previous year, when a surge in infections brought aviation to a virtual standstill.
Now, as travel bans are being lifted and incidence rates fall, European vacation destinations in particular have seen demand climb compared to April 2021. More than 50,000 passengers travelled through Frankfurt Airport on four separate days in May 2021 – the highest figures since the first lockdown was eased in summer 2020. Nevertheless, passenger traffic was still 80.0 percent lower than in pre-pandemic May 2019.1
In the first five months of 2021, FRA served a total of more than 4.7 million passengers. Compared to the same period in 2020 and 2019, this represents a decrease of 59.2 percent and 82.6 percent respectively.
Cargo volumes continued to grow despite the ongoing shortage of belly capacity normally provided by passenger aircraft. May 2021 saw a 27.2 percent increase to 204,233 metric tons (up 10.0 percent over May 2019). With 16,977 takeoffs and landings, aircraft movements climbed 118.7 percent compared to May 2020. Accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) rose by 66.2 percent year-on-year to 1.29 million metric tons.
Fraport Group airports around the world saw passenger traffic develop positively. All recorded a significant increase, in some cases of several hundred percent – albeit compared with sharply reduced air traffic in May 2020. When contrasted with pre-pandemic figures for May 2019, Fraport Group airports witnessed a significant decline in passenger numbers.
In May 2021, Ljubljana Airport (LJU) in Slovenia served 14,943 passengers. The Brazilian airports of Fortaleza (FOR) and Porto Alegre (POA), combined, registered 415,866 passengers, while Lima Airport (LIM) in Peru handled 738,398 passengers.
Fraport’s 14 Greek regional airports welcomed 472,937 passengers in May 2021. On the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, traffic at the Twin Star airports of Burgas (BOJ) and Varna (VAR) rose to a total of 44,013 passengers. Antalya Airport (AYT) in Turkey recorded 719,254 passengers. Pulkovo Airport (LED) in St. Petersburg, Russia, saw traffic rise to over 1.5 million passengers, while traffic at Xi’an Airport (XIY) in China grew to over 3.9 million passengers.
1 Editorial note: For enhanced statistical comparison, reporting of the Fraport Traffic Figures now provides (until further notice) a comparison between the current traffic figures and the corresponding 2019 base-year figures, in addition to the regular year-on-year reporting.