Frankfurt Airport (FRA) served more than 69.5 million passengers in 2018, thus posting a new record high in the airport’s history. Compared to 2017, traffic at Germany’s largest airport grew by some 5 million passengers or 7.8 percent. This strong growth resulted from the launch of more routes to new destinations from FRA and from airlines increasing flight frequencies.
Commenting on the 2018 traffic figures, Fraport AG’s executive board chairman Stefan Schulte said: “The previous year has proved once again that there continues to be great demand for flying. In Frankfurt, we have achieved the highest absolute passenger growth in our history. This underscores Frankfurt Airport’s position as one of Europe’s leading aviation hubs. At the same time, the extraordinary growth in air traffic overall has caused major challenges for us and the entire aviation sector. Together with our partners, we are taking efforts to restore and enhance punctuality and reliability in air traffic.”
In full-year 2018, aircraft movements at FRA rose by 7.7 percent to 512,115 takeoffs and landings in 2018. Accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) also increased by 5.1 percent to some 31.6 million metric tons. Cargo throughput (airfreight + airmail) posted a slight 0.7 percent decline to about 2.2 million metric tons, reflecting growing uncertainties in global trade, particularly during the second half of the year.
In December 2018, more than 4.9 million passengers traveled via Frankfurt Airport – an increase of 7.8 percent compared to December 2017. Aircraft movements climbed by 9.0 percent to 38,324 takeoffs and landings, while accumulated MTOWs grew by 6.5 percent to about 2.4 million metric tons. Cargo throughput (airmail + airfreight) expanded by 1.9 percent to 183,674 metric tons in the reporting month.
Airports in Fraport’s international portfolio also reported noticeable growth in 2018. CEO Schulte commented: “In addition to Frankfurt, most of our Group airports worldwide also achieved new passenger records last year. We continue to invest in the airports of our international portfolio, thus ensuring their long-term development. To create additional capacity, we are currently carrying out major expansion projects at our Group airports, particularly in Greece, Brazil and Peru.”
In Slovenia, Ljubljana Airport (LJU) posted a 7.7 percent traffic increase to over 1.8 million passengers in 2018. Combined traffic at the two Brazilian airports of Fortaleza (FOR) and Porto Alegre (POA) rose by 7.0 percent to some 14.9 million passengers. Traffic at the 14 Greek regional airports advanced by 8.9 percent to a total of almost 29.9 million passengers. The three busiest gateways in Fraport’s Greek portfolio were Thessaloniki Airport (SKG) with some 6.7 million passengers (up 7.1 percent), Rhodes Airport (RHO) with around 5.6 million passengers (up 5.0 percent), and Corfu Airport (CFU) where traffic soared by 15.3 percent to nearly 3.4 million passengers.
Lima Airport (LIM) in the capital of Peru welcomed more than 22.1 million passengers in 2018, representing an increase of 7.3 percent. On the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, the Twin Star airports of Varna (VAR) and Burgas (BOJ) closed the year with combined traffic growth of 12.2 percent to about 5.6 million passengers. Antalya Airport (AYT) in Turkey saw traffic advance by 22.5 percent to almost 32.3 million passengers. Pulkovo Airport (LED) in St. Petersburg, Russia served more than 18.1 million passengers – an increase of 12.4 percent. Some 44.7 million passengers used Xi’an Airport (XIY) in China, up 6.7 percent.