May 2002 - FRA Traffic Results: Fraport AG Expects Passenger Figures to Rise Again in the Third Quarter

Positive Conclusion of the Regional Planning Procedure Creates Optimism; "FRA Remains Our Main Partner“ Says Lufthansa's Weber

Frankfurt, Germany (ots) - Frankfurt Airport's (FRA) traffic figures show that May 2002 was the best month so far this year. Some 4.2 million passengers used FRA in May 2002, only 1.3 percent less than the same month last year. This relatively good result is due to low base-year figures -- in May last year Lufthansa pilots were on strike. Still, the result confirms Fraport AG's estimate that the first positive traffic figures can be expected in the third quarter of 2002. Fraport continues to be concerned about the sluggish economy and the still weak tourism business. In this connection German tour operators say that economic factors are holding back holiday bookings, although with increasing price sensitivity some destinations are beginning to show growth again. For example, FRA's Turkish market is showing positive results; and Egypt is also moving towards growth.

Air cargo tonnage at Germany's largest airport saw positive development in May 2002. FRA, handled some 121,100 metric tons of airfreight, up two percent over the same month last year. Experience shows that the air cargo sector is an important early indicator for a developing world economy. Therefore, the current results could be an indicator for the expected recovery in the global economy during the second half of 2002. At the same time, the results could also be the first sign of the hoped for rebound in Germany.

Like Fraport AG, the airlines also expect a recovery. Lufthansa's executive board chairman, Dipl.-Ing. Jürgen Weber, confirmed this today in joint press conference at FRA held with Fraport AG's executive board chairman, Dr. Wilhelm Bender. Lufthansa is counting on growth and is counting on the expansion of Frankfurt, its main base," said Weber. "FRA is important for many reasons including its overwhelming significance for the German export economy." Weber welcomed the conclusion of the Regional Planning Procedure (ROV) as a key step for Fraport AG's expansion plans. Frankfurt must not be slowed down," demanded Weber, "because FRA is and will remain our main partner."

Bender also spoke positively of the ROV decision, which evaluated the Runway Northwest option as the most compatible with regional planning requirements. "This important evaluation is a vital stop for Germany's role in air transportation and will allow FRA to participate in medium and long-term development and growth opportunities in the aviation sector," said Bender,

The current number of aircraft movements (takeoffs and landings) at FRA also reflects the aviation industry's of an imminent upswing. In May 2002, FRA recorded its first positive results in this traffic category, with 39,209 takeoffs and landings (an increase of 0.4 percent over the same period last year). By the end of May, the airlines had resumed most of the flights that they had temporary suspended after 9/11. However, the airlines continue to use smaller aircraft for some services. Thus, the Maximum Takeoff Weights (MTOW) reached 2.1 million metric tons in May 2002, 2.6 percent below the same month last year.

Frankfurt Airport's Traffic Figures for May 2002

May 2002 Change (2) Jan.-May Change (2)

May 02/ 2002 Jan.-May

May 01 02/01

Passengers 4.2 -1.3% 18.6 -4.2%

in millions

Airfreight 121.1 2.0% 594.7 -4.5%

in thousands of

metric tons

Airmail 10.9 4.5% 57.8 0.4%

in thousands of

metric tons

Aircraft 39.2 O.4% 183.4 -1.6%

Movements (1)

in thousands

MTOWs 2,120.1 -2.8% 9,820.8 -6.1%

in thousands of

metric tons

Punctuality 86.5 81.4

share of punctual arrivals

and departures in percent

(1) Excluding military flights

(2) Rate of change based on unrounded numbers

ots Original Text Service: Fraport AG

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