April 2003 - FRA Traffic Figures: Iraq War and SARS Cause Traffic Slowdown

Frankfurt, Germany (ots) - Frankfurt Airport (FRA) received more than 3.7 million passengers in April 2003, a decline of about five percent compared to the same month last year. In contrast, airfreight increased further by one percent to 121,724 metric tons. Some 37,406 take-offs and landings were registered, 0.5 percent more than in April 2002. Maximum take-off weights (MTOWs) climbed by 3.8 percent to about 2.1 million metric tons in the reporting month.

Despite the negative influences on world aviation, passenger traffic developed more positively at FRA than expected: Only 5.2 percent fewer passengers were recorded in April 2003 than in the same month last year, whereas passenger figures collapsed by 25 percent in the first month of the 1991 Gulf war.

Because of the 2003 Iraq war, destinations in North Africa and Turkey especially suffered a decline in traffic. In contrast, destinations in the western Mediterranean experienced noticeable growth because tour operators reacted flexibly to the market by allowing passengers to rebook their trips free of charge. Far East traffic experienced an unusual double-digit collapse in passenger traffic due to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) infectious disease. In particular, an above average number of travelers avoided China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

FRA's airfreight volume grew by one percent to 121,724 metric tons in April 2003. Domestic cargo recorded a double-digit decline in April, while airfreight shipments to Asia registered a noticeable 6.1 percent increase. Another growth factor was the 9.2 percent increase in cargo transported to France and Spain. Airmail tonnage at FRA dropped 14.9 percent to 9,692 metric tons in April.

Frankfurt Airport's Traffic Figures for April 2003

April 2003 Change 2 Jan. - Apr. Change 2

Apr. 03/ 2003 Jan. - Apr.

Apr. 02 03/02

Passengers 3,711,023 -5.2 % 14,278,761 -1.1 %

Airfreight 121,724 1.0 % 499,014 5.4 %

in metric


Airmail 9,692 -14.9 % 43,630 -6.9 %

in metric


Aircraft 37,406 0.5 % 149,380 3.6 %

Movements 1

MTOWs 1 2,069,737 3.8 % 8,208,904 6.6 %

in metric


Punc- 80.2 75.6


share of





in percent

1 Excluding military flights

2 Change over previous year