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FRA experiences August cargo slump

By Hpanchal on September 15, 2011

The Fraport Group, which operates Germany’s Frankfurt Airport (FRA) and holds majority stake in Peru’s Jorge Chávez International Airport, Turkey’s Antalya Airport and Bulgaria’s Bourgas International Airport, has announced its traffic figures for August. But of these four airports, it’s FRA’s cargo slump that has really caught the attention of industry insiders.

Although FRA’s January-to-August tonnage remained consistent with 2010 numbers, freight volumes fell 7 percent year-over-year in August, dropping to 172,415 tonnes. Still, Fraport AG Executive Board Chairman Stefan Schulte explains that these numbers can be somewhat misleading.

“One has to take into account that the airfreight segment — following the finance and economic crisis of 2010 — has been characterized by very strong growth rates,” he said in a statement. “Thus, Frankfurt Airport’s airfreight volume of 2.23 million metric tonnes in 2010 clearly exceeded the pre-crisis levels during the years 2007 to 2009.”

Not all of FRA’s August numbers signaled stagnation, however. FRA’s passenger traffic increased 2.5 percent year-over-year, leading to the busiest August in the airport’s history. What’s more, FRA welcomed 37.45 million passengers from January to August, a 7-percent surge from the first eight months of 2010.

Aircraft movements also rose steadily in this period, increasing 5.3 percent from January to August. And August, in particular, was rather prolific for FRA, with the airport recording 42,212 departures and arrivals, a 1.4-percent year-over-year improvement.

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