FRANKFURT, Germany – With almost five million passengers served in April 2016, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) saw passenger figures decline by 2.5 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. FRA’s traffic performance was distorted by a number of special and base-year effects, including a public sector strike on April 27, the closure of Brussels Airport and the earlier timing of the Easter holidays, with some travelers already departing in March instead of April, as in the previous year. However, even without these effects, passenger figures would have declined by about 1.5 percent in April 2016. This was largely the result of restrained holiday bookings in the wake of the Brussels terrorist attacks as well as reflecting holidaymakers’ concerns about the security situation at various travel destinations.
In marked contrast to passenger traffic, cargo (airfreight + airmail) volumes experienced strong growth, soaring by 5.0 percent to 181,948 metric tons. Far East traffic was the main growth driver, with cargo tonnage to/from this region climbing by 9.0 percent. Freight volumes on routes to/from China, Japan, and India even recorded dynamic double-digit growth. While cargo throughput declined during the first three months of 2016, cumulative cargo volumes in the year to April reached positive territory again for the first time, growing by 0.5 percent. Despite the strike on April 27, maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) rose by 0.2 percent to 2.48 million metric tons, thus even exceeding the previous April record achieved last year. With some 39,000 takeoffs and landings, aircraft movements decreased by 2.1 percent.
In the reporting month, Fraport AG’s international portfolio of airports continued to develop in two different directions. Lima Airport (LIM) in Peru achieved strong passenger growth again, welcoming almost 1.4 million passengers in April 2016 – an increase of 7.1 percent. Traffic also advanced at Xi’an Airport (XIY) in central China, rising by 8.8 percent to almost 3 million passengers. Combined, the two Twin Star airports on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast – Varna (VAR) and Burgas (BOJ) – also saw traffic rise by 11.6 percent to 57,498 passengers in the month of April. By contrast, passenger numbers at Antalya Airport (AYT) in Turkey and Pulkovo Airport (LED) in St. Petersburg, Russia, declined again by 22.8 percent to 1.2 million passengers and 3.5 percent to 900,541 passengers, respectively. Hanover Airport (HAJ) in northern Germany also recorded a 4.4 percent drop to 415,047 passengers. At Ljubljana Airport (LJU) in Slovenia, traffic fell by 10.5 percent to 100,549 passengers year-on-year.