Passenger Traffic at Frankfurt Airport Depressed by Iraq War

Fraport's Executive Board Responds to Current Traffic Situation with a Package of Contingency Measures -Cargo Tonnage and Maximum Takeoff Weights Show Clear Increases

In March 2003, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) recorded 3.8 million passengers, 5.3 percent fewer than in the same month last year. Bookings of flights and package tours were down because of the continuing weak economic environment in Germany and the impact of the Iraq war. Destinations in the southeast European region, North Africa and the Middle East have been hit hardest. The outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), an infectious lung disease, in southeast Asia also had an impact on passenger figures: A reliable growth factor at FRA during the last few months, Far East traffic also declined in March.

As a pre-emptive step in response to the current situation in international aviation, Fraport AG's executive board and works council already in March agreed on a comprehensive package of contingency measures. Some of these measures are now being implemented. For example, they include reducing overtime hours, accumulated flex-time hours and accrued vacation entitlements, rescheduling shifts, and reducing the use of external personnel. "Our goal is to cut costs in keeping with lower demand and to continue avoiding business-related layoffs", said Fraport's CEO, Dr. Wilhelm Bender. Further measures, such as short-time working, will be introduced if the already implemented measures do not suffice to prevent staff redundancy.

In contrast, cargo traffic at Frankfurt Airport continued to grow noticeably. The airport handled 143,820 metric tons in March 2003, an increase of 7.5 percent on the same month last year. Major growth factors again were increases on intercontinental routes to North and South America. Cargo tonnage to the Near East showed double-figure growth.

The number of aircraft movements at FRA also continued to grow. With 39,256 takeoffs and landings, movements increased by 4.8 percent in March. With the airlines using larger aircraft, maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) at Frankfurt Airport rose again to about 2.2 million metric tons, up 7.7 percent on the March 2002.

Frankfurt Airport's Traffic Figures for March 2003

March 2003 Change(2) Jan. - March Change(2)

March 03/ 2003 Jan. - March

March 02 03/02

Passengers 3,765,552 -5.3 % 10,567,738 0.4 %

Airfreight 143,820 7.5 % 377,290 6.9 %

in metric tons

Airmail 11,507 -4.8 % 33,938 -4.3 %

in metric tons

Aircraft 39,256 4.8 % 111,974 4.7 %


MTOWs(1) 2,160,130 7.7 % 6,139,167 7.6 %

in metric tons

Punctuality 79.1 74.0

share of punctual

arrivals and


in percent

(1) Excluding military flights

(2) Change over previous year