Positive Quarterly Figures Despite Strike-related Cancellations at FRA - Growth in Cargo Segment Strengthens Frankfurt's Role as Global Airfreight Hub - Fraport's International Portfolio Continues to Develop Dynamically
FRA/jb-rap>Traffic at Germany's biggest air transportation hub has developed positively since the year began. Frankfurt Airport (FRA) welcomed nearly 12.2 million passengers in the first quarter of 2014, an increase of two percent year-on-year - despite the two strike days that occurred during this period (the work stoppage by security staff on February 21 and by public service employees on March 27). During the same quarter in 2013, FRA also had major flight cancellations due to winter weather conditions as well as a strike by Lufthansa ground personnel. At FRA, aircraft movements climbed by 1.1 percent to 107,092 takeoffs and landings during the first three months of 2014, while accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) rose by 2.1 percent to 6.5 million metric tons.
The growth in cargo activity during the first quarter of the year underscores FRA's strength of as an international airfreight hub. The growth trend in the global economy as well as a moderate cyclical recovery in the euro area had a positive influence, with Frankfurt's cargo tonnage increasing by four percent to 522,026 metric tons.
Fraport AG's executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte explained: "Along with the continuing and challenging framework conditions for the entire European air transportation industry, strikes also slightly clouded the positive traffic development at FRA. These strikes led to traffic disruptions and inconveniences for our passengers, which we deeply regret."
In March 2014, passenger figures at FRA rose by 0.9 percent to 4.5 million passengers. This growth - despite the partially opposing weather and strike-related effects in 2013 und 2014 - is due to most of the Easter holiday traffic last year falling in March 2013, whereas this year Easter occurs completely in the month of April 2014.
Cargo throughput (airfreight and airmail) at Europe's leading air cargo gateway advanced by 3.2 percent in March 2014 to 201,806 million metric tons. Thus, after three years, FRA's monthly cargo figure has once again exceeded the 200,000 metric ton mark. Aircraft movements climbed by 2.4 percent to 38,104 takeoffs and landings. Accumulated MTOWs at Frankfurt Airport also grew by 2.6 percent to some 2.3 million metric tons.
As for Fraport's Group airports, most of the international portfolio registered growth in the first quarter of 2014. Peru's Lima Airport (LIM) welcomed about 3.7 million passengers in the first three months of 2014, a gain of 4.2 percent year-on-year. Together, Burgas (BOJ) and Varna (VAR) airports on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast reported 90,164 passengers in the first quarter (up 1.9 percent). Antalya Airport (AYT) on the Turkish Riviera had about 2.3 million passengers from January to March 2014, an increase of 2.3 percent. With almost 2.5 million passengers in the first three months of 2014, Pulkovo Airport (LED) in St. Petersburg, Russia, recorded noticeable double- digit growth of 15 percent. Serving about 6.5 million passengers in the first quarter of 2014, Xi'an Airport (XIY) in northwestern China also registered strong growth of 9.9 percent. In Germany's state of Lower Saxony, Hanover Airport (HAJ) experienced a four percent dip in quarterly traffic to 925,450 passengers.
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