Frankfurt Airport records stable third quarter passenger growth of 2.9 percent – Weak global trade continues to dampen cargo traffic
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) welcomed 5.8 million passengers in September 2015. Due to strikes at Lufthansa on September 8 and 9, the passenger volume dropped by 1.2 percent year-on-year. In addition, the decline was also partly influenced by the high base effect of the preceding year. The world soccer championship last year led to a strong increase in traffic in September 2014, despite strikes at Lufthansa and Air France. Looking at the third quarter of 2015, the overall passenger volume continues to grow at a steady rate. Just under 18.4 million passengers passed through Germany’s largest aviation hub during the three months from July to September 2015, representing growth of 2.9 percent year-on-year.
Weak global trade continued to affect cargo traffic at FRA, resulting in a 4.7 percent slide to 170,217 metric tons. Cargo tonnage to and from the Far East – with the exception of Japan – as well as on North and Latin American routes registered a strong decline.
Due to airline strikes, the number of aircraft movements at Frankfurt declined correspondingly by 0.5 percent to 42,220 takeoffs and landings. The trend towards deployment of larger aircraft however is continuing. Thus, the accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) dipped only slightly by 0.2 percent to 2.6 million metric tons. In fact, the average weight per aircraft rose to 123.7 metric tons, a new September record.
With a total of 47.3 million passengers served in the first nine months of 2015, Frankfurt Airport achieved a new historic passenger record for the three quarter period – exceeding the previous year’s figure by 3.6 percent or 1.65 million passengers. During the first three quarters of the year, FRA’s cargo throughput fell by 2.4 percent to nearly 1.6 million metric tons. In particular, the weakness in world trade and economic difficulties in some emerging markets contributed to this development. Nevertheless, accumulated MTOWs advanced briskly by 2.8 percent and set a new record of almost 22.5 million metric tons. Despite two strikes in March and September 2015, aircraft movements rose by 0.4 percent to 358,299 takeoffs and landings.
Overall, Fraport AG’s international airport portfolio reported mixed results during the first three quarters of 2015. Ljubljana Airport (LJU) in Slovenia greeted more than 1.1 million passengers – leading to a traffic surge of 10.8 percent in the first nine months of the year. LJU received 157,508 passengers in the reporting month of September 2015, up 10.1 percent year-on-year. With 12.6 million passengers in the first three quarters of 2015, Lima Airport (LIM) in the capital of Peru reported noticable growth of 8.9 percent. In September 2015, over 1.4 million passengers travelled via LIM, a gain of 8.4 percent. Despite growth in September 2015 (up 5.9 percent to 545,509 passengers), the Bulgarian Twin-Star airports of Varna (VAR) and Burgas (BOJ) saw traffic fall during the first three quarters of the year by 4.6 percent to 3.6 million passengers. During the same period, Antalya Airport (AYT) welcomed almost 23.0 million passengers and posted a slight decline of 1.7 percent year-on-year. In September 2015, AYT had some 3.7 million passengers, representing stagnant or zero traffic growth. Some 10.9 million passengers used St Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport (LED) in the January to September 2015 period, down 3.8 percent compared to the same period last year. With 1.4 million passengers in September 2015, LED’s passenger slowdown narrowed to 0.4 percent. Hanover Airport (HAJ) in northern Germany served 4.2 million passengers in the first three quarters of the year, a gain of 4.1 percent year-on-year. In contrast, the reporting month of September 2015 saw a 2.4 percent dip to 572,975 passengers. At China’s Xi’an Airport (XIY), traffic jumped by 13.4 percent to 24.8 million passengers for the three quarters. This compares with 2.9 million passengers and 12.3 percent growth in September 2015.