Airports operator Fraport reported 6.7 percent shrinkage in its cargo throughput to 2.1 million tonnes in 2012 at its home base of Frankfurt Airport. The loss of volume came in marked contrast to the record 57.5 million passengers the airport handled during the year, a 1.9 percent increase.
Fraport executive board chairman Stefan Schulte said high fuel prices, the burden of Germany’s national aviation tax, and weak demand, particularly in southern Europe, were among factors that had led passenger airlines to make capacity adjustments.
He referred to the impact of the weak global economy on the cargo market, and said freighter flights had been canceled in response to the “general economic crisis”. However, Fraport made no reference to the night-flight ban that was initially imposed as a temporary measure by a regional German court in October 2011 and became permanent six months later.
Schulte preferred to take a positive line, explaining that December airfreight volumes were just 1.5 percent down year-over-year at 174,590 tonnes. “The negative trend has been slowing with the decline in cargo tonnage reduced significantly by the end of the year,” he said.