12 December 2003
FRANKFURT – Passenger numbers continued to rise last month at Frankfurt airport in a further sign of an end to the slump in business following the Iraq war and the SARS respiratory disease.
Airport operator Fraport said Friday about 3.8 million passengers used Germany’s main hub in November, 5 percent more than in the same month last year.
Fraport said the recovery was continuing unabated with traffic volume moving towards the record level of 2000.
The Frankfurt airport company had already registered the best October in the airport’s history with 4.6 million passengers and a growth rate of 2.4 percent.
For the January-to-November period, the airport’s passenger volume of about 44.9 million was 0.4 percent below the previous year’s figure.
“Nobody expected such positive traffic development following the effects of the Iraq war and SARS,” said Wilhelm Bender, executive board chairman of Fraport.
Bender said he expected passenger traffic for the entire year to show a decline of no more than 0.5 percent.
High growth rates were recorded particularly on intercontinental routes to North America, the Far East and Africa. There was also strong demand for holiday flights to the Caribbean, Egypt, Greece, Portugal and Turkey.
Frankfurt airport also saw “a healthy jump” in air freight activity last month, Fraport said.
Air freight tonnage in November grew by 3.2 percent to 147,110 metric tons. Expansion of cargo services to Asia, Central and South Africa, as well as Central America fuelled the strong growth.
From January to November, the airport handled more than 1.4 million metric tons of air freight, a 2 percent increase over the same period in 2002.
Fraport has already reported an increase in group profits and revenues for the first nine months of the year.
In announcing the results last month, Bender said he was optimistic the worst of the aviation industry slump was over and that “in the foreseeable future the industry will again be riding the growth waves prevailing prior to 2001”.
Subject: German news