June 2003 - FRA Traffic Figures: Fraport AG (FSE: FRA) Expects Passenger Figures to Rise Again During the Next Few Months
Frankfurt, Germany (ots) - Frankfurt Airport (FRA) welcomed some 4.3 million passengers in June 2003, 2.3 percent less than in the corresponding month last year. Airfreight decreased by 4.1 percent to 123,721 metric tons and airmail dropped by 17.2 percent to 9,211 metric tons. Fraport AG registered 38,108 aircraft movements (take-offs and landings) at FRA, a 2.7 percent decline compared to June 2002. This paralleled the development in maximum take-off weights (MTOWs), which also slipped by 2.7 percent to 2.1 million metric tons in the reporting month.
However, the recent development in passenger figures at Frankfurt Airport indicates a recovery trend. The June 2003 passenger decline of 2.3 percent was about half as much as in the preceding months of May (5.3 percent decline) and April (5.2 percent decline). International traffic has clearly recovered and the demand for holiday travel has risen again. In particular, the Balearic and Canary islands benefited from this development, along with many destinations in Eastern Europe. For example, Bulgaria - an inexpensive tourist destination - achieved a double-digit increase in passengers. Traffic to the Middle East also registered double-digit growth in June 2003.
Containment of the SARS infectious disease still did not positively influence traffic to and from the Far East. In June 2003, China and Hong Kong still experienced a strong collapse in passenger figures. However, there was good news from several airlines announcing that they expected a strong revival in Asian traffic. Serving as Europe's air transport hub and gateway to Asia, Frankfurt Airport will especially profit from this development.
In the first half of 2003, some 22.5 million passengers traveled via Frankfurt Airport, a 2.1 percent decrease compared to the same period last year. FRA's airfreight tonnage dropped in June 2003 for the first time in several months, due to the weak economy and the effect of the strong euro on Germany's export industry. Routes to the Far East experienced a slight decrease in airfreight, while the North and Latin American market recorded a clear decline. FRA handled a total of 747,000 metric tons of airfreight during the first six months of 2003 - 3.3 percent more than in the first half of 2002. Fraport AG reported 9,211 metric tons of airmail at FRA, a 17.2 percent drop compared to June 2002. This decline was caused by a reduction in services in Deutsche Post's overnight domestic airmail network, which is based at Frankfurt Airport.
Aircraft movements and MTOWs also declined in June 2003. In particular, capacity adjustments made by the airlines, in response to lower passenger demand following the SARS outbreak, resulted in a decline in the number of flights at FRA. Because the booking situation is gradually recovering, Fraport AG expects that the airlines will soon revive routes that were dropped or will increase capacity on routes that were served less frequently during the crisis.
Frankfurt Airport's Traffic Figures for June 2003
June 2003 Change 2 Jan. - June Change 2
June 03/ 2003 Jan. - June
June 02 03/02
Passengers 4,250,394 -2.3 % 22,466,925 -2.1 %
tons 123,721 -4.1 % 747,346 3.3 %
tons 9,211 -17.2 % 62,556 -9.2 %
Movements 1 38,108 -2.7 % 225,665 1.4 %
tons 2,083,266 -2.7 % 12,370,256 3.4 %
in percent 82.1 78.0
1 Excluding military flights
2 Change over previous year