Frankfurt Airport served about 3.7 million passengers in January. This represents about 20,000 or 0.5 percent fewer passengers than in the same month last year.A large number of weather-related flight cancellations caused this moderate decline, the first in passenger figures since September 2003.
Furthermore, labor strikes in other European countries precipitated flight cancellations, which also slowed down passenger growth at FRA.
Domestic traffic was particularly affected, dropping by 4.8 percent. European traffic also slipped slightly by 0.5 percent. Tourist traffic, in particular, fell short of expectations. Intercontinental traffic grew slightly by 0.4 percent.
Climbing by 5.7 percent, Asia was the only traffic region outside of Europe to show notable growth in January.
In contrast, FRA’s airfreight activity continued the pattern of unabated growth recorded in recent months.
Some 145,395 metric tons of cargo handled in the first month of 2006 represented an increase of 7.1 percent and exceeded the previous January record by 9,688 metric tons.
Growth was almost exclusively due to a double-digit increase in cargo tonnage carried on Middle East and Far East routes.
At the beginning of the year, Asian markets claimed a dominant share of nearly 55 percent of FRA’s total cargo tonnage.
As expected, airmail tonnage again dropped by 12.6 percent to 8,071 metric tons due to the phased closing of FRA’s overnight domestic airmail hub in 2005.
Aircraft movements at FRA also declined slightly in the reporting month due to weather-related and other flight cancellations.
The number of take-offs and landings slipped by only 0.9 percent to 37,752 movements compared to the same month last year.
Figures for maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) began to reflect the successive relocation of U.S. military flights from FRA to other U.S. air bases in Germany.
In January 2006, MTOWs dropped by 1.6 percent to 2,151,294 metric tons.
Frankfurt-Hahn (HHN) and Hanover (HAJ) airports, two of the Fraport Group’ s airports in Germany, recorded solid traffic increases in January 2006.
Frankfurt-Hahn welcomed 211,350 passengers in January, an increase of 10.7 percent. Hanover served 315,772 passengers during the first four weeks of the year, an increase of 4.1 percent.
In contrast, January passenger figures at Saarbrucken Airport (SCN) dropped by five percent to 18,184.
Traffic at Lima Airport (LIM) in Peru rose by 5.2 percent to 471,175 passengers, while traffic at Antalya Airport (AYT) in Turkey continued to be depressed due to the opening of a competing passenger terminal.
Thus, AYT registered only 44,277 passengers, an 86 percent drop compared to the same period in 2005.
Plans call for a redistribution of passenger streams at Antalya Airport by the 2006 summer season, which will ensure better utilization of Fraport’s AYT terminal again.