Cargo volumes dropped steadily at Frankfurt Airport during the first half of 2012, Fraport Group traffic figures show. In addition to recording a 9.9 percent, year-over-year, drop in domestic freight volumes, the airport saw an overall tonnage stall of 9 percent from the first six months of 2011. Such declines were “strengthened” by the night-flight ban imposed last fall, according to a press release.
In October, the Hesse Administrative High Court ordered the cessation of all flights between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. at FRA, a ruling that a higher court upheld in April. It was a move many in the industry deemed damaging to cargo.
“Slots are a major battle ground for airlines at major airports across the globe. In recent years, to satisfy the requirements of passengers, all-cargo operations have been pushed into the hours of the day, and usually the night, when passengers don’t want to fly,” Oliver Evans, TIACA’s industry affairs committee chair, said in April. “The air cargo industry has adapted to this and made it work. Today, night-time cargo flights are part of a seamless supply chain.”
Along with being impaired by the night-flight ban, freight volumes at FRA were affected by the European debt crisis and the general weakness of the global economy during the first half of the year, according to the press release.
Fraport AG, which owns and operates FRA and holds majority stake in Peru’s Jorge Chávez International Airport, Turkey’s Antalya Airport and Bulgaria’s Bourgas International Airport, also saw declines in the first six months of 2012. The group result plunged 17.4 percent, year-over-year, to €86.9 million.
Fraport’s revenue and EBITDA bucked this trend, however, rising 2.5 percent and 2 percent, year-over-year, respectively, during the first half of the year. FRA’s record-breaking passenger loads helped propel this increase. Fraport statistics revealed that the airport welcomed 27.4 million travelers during the first half of the year, a 3.4 percent, year-over-year, increase. This figure is especially notable since the airport contended with employee strikes in February and March, which led to the cancellation of 2,150 flights.