Frankfurt Airport posts lower cargo volumes in 2015 – Group airports grow at differing rates
For the first time in the history of Frankfurt Airport (FRA), passenger traffic exceeded the 60 million figure within a calendar year. During 2015, a total of 61,040,613 passengers used Germany’s largest air transportation hub – representing a 2.5 percent jump year-on-year. This increase would have been even greater without the impact of strikes by Lufthansa pilots and cabin crews. Adjusting for all extraordinary fight cancellations (including weather-related cancellations), passenger numbers would even have risen by 3.8 percent.
Frankfurt Airport also achieved new daily peak records during 2015. On August 2, the number of passengers using FRA on a single day hit an all-time high of 217,500. Because of overlapping summer holidays last year in many of Germany’s most populous states, the 200,000 passenger mark per day was exceeded 63 times – more frequently than ever before.
FRA’s cargo (airfreight and airmail) volume declined by 2.3 percent to about 2.1 million metric tons in 2015 – attributable mainly to weakening global trade and economic difficulties in some emerging markets. In contrast, accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) climbed by two percent to almost 30 million metric tons in 2015 – also a new record figure. With 468,153 takeoffs and landings, aircraft movements reached a similar level as in the previous year (down 0.2 percent). This reflects the ongoing consolidation activities of airlines, particularly the deployment of larger aircraft types as well as the increase in the number of seats offered per aircraft movement. Without weather and strike-related flight cancellations, the number of takeoffs and landings would have climbed by one percent.
Fraport AG’s executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte said: “We are pleased that so many travelers have placed their trust in us and that we could welcome more than 61 million passengers at Frankfurt Airport last year. This passenger growth is in line with our expectations. In 2015, we had the groundbreaking for our new Terminal 3 – an important step in building the foundation for Frankfurt Airport’s long-term competitiveness.”
In the last month of 2015, Frankfurt Airport received nearly 4.1 million passengers (up 2.1 percent). Accumulated MTOWs rose by 4.4 percent to about 2.2 million metric tons. Aircraft movements increased noticeably by 3 percent to almost 34,000 takeoffs and landings in December 2015. However, this growth was disproportionately high due to strike and weather-related flight cancellations in December 2014. Excluding this base-year effect, aircraft movements would have declined by 0.7 percent. Cargo throughput during the reporting month dropped by 0.5 percent to 175,296 metric tons year-on-year.
Airports in the Fraport Group’s international portfolio registered differing traffic results for the year 2015. Slovenia’s Ljubljana Airport (LJU), the newest member in the Group, registered a strong double-digit gain of 10.0 percent to about 1.4 million passengers. In Peru’s capital city, some 17.1 million passengers traveled via Lima Airport (LIM) – a rise of 9.2 percent year-on-year. On the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, Fraport Twin Star’s airports in Varna (VAR) and Burgas (BOJ), combined, served about 3.8 million passengers, 4.1 percent less than in 2014. Turkey’s Antalya Airport (AYT) registered about 27.5 million passengers (down 1.6 percent), while St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport (LED) in Russia welcomed nearly 13.5 million passengers (down 5.4 percent). At Hanover Airport (HAJ) in northern Germany, passenger figures advanced by 3.0 percent to 5.5 million passengers. Xi’an Airport (XIY) in central China saw traffic climb by 13.0 percent to almost 33 million passengers in 2015.
Regarding the Fraport Group’s strategic worldwide orientation, Schulte stated: “The decline in passenger traffic at our Group airports in St. Petersburg, Varna and Burgas, as well as Antalya, is the result of the weak Russian currency and economy. In contrast, the strong traffic growth recorded at Ljubljana, Lima and Xi’an airports demonstrates the importance and validity of having wide geographic distribution within our portfolio.”