Frankfurt/Main, Germany (ots) - FSE: FRA - Frankfurt Airport (FRA) welcomed about 4.7 million passengers in September 2003, one percent less than in the corresponding month last year. Air cargo traffic declined 2.6 percent to 128,577 metric tons, while airmail fell 10.3 percent to 9,744 metric tons. With a total of 39,652 take-offs and landings in the reporting month, aircraft movements at FRA dropped by one percent compared to September 2002. In contrast, maximum take-off weights (MTOWs) increased slightly by 0.1 percent to 2.2 million metric tons.

FRA recorded fewer passengers in September 2003 than in the corresponding month of 2002, although Fraport is expecting growth in passenger figures over the next few months - because demand has recovered from the slump following the 9/11 events, the Iraq war, SARS, etc. As expected, the upward trend of the previous month (up 2.7 percent) caused by the summer school-break did not continue, particularly due to ongoing weak demand.

Nonetheless, the travel industry now reports noticeably growing bookings for the coming months. Therefore, Fraport is confident that FRA's passenger figures for the full year 2003 will fall a maximum of one percent short of the previous year's level. In the period from January to September 2003 passenger levels were only 1.3 percent below the level of the same period last year.

Because of the weak economy, the strong euro, and the ensuing effect on the German export industry, airfreight activity at FRA slipped in September 2003. Whereas cargo traffic to and from the Middle East increased noticeably, cargo tonnage on North American routes declined. During the first nine months of the year, Fraport recorded about 1.1 million metric tons of cargo at FRA, 1.8 percent more than in the same period last year.

Airmail tonnage handled at FRA reached 9,774 metric tons in September 2003, 10.3 percent less than in September 2002, because of service reductions in Deutsche Post's domestic overnight airmail network.

Aircraft movements declined in September 2003, although showing slight growth for the entire first nine-months of the year. MTOWs also grew slightly. Because of lackluster business activity and reductions in Deutsche Post's domestic overnight airmail network FRA recorded fewer domestic flights, while frequencies increased on routes to the Middle East, the Far East, North America, and the Caribbean.

Frankfurt Airport's Traffic Figures for September 2003

September 2003 ChangeChange (2) Sept. 03/ Sept. 02Jan. - Sept. 2003Change (2) Jan. - Sept. 03/02
Passengers4,688,628-1.0 %36,493,641-1.3 %
Airfreight in metric tons128,577-2.6 %1,126,2261.8 %
Airmail in metric tons9,774-10.3 %91,776-10.5 %
Aircraft Movements (1)39,652-1.0 %345,6130.4 %
MTOWs (1) in metric tons2,213,3200.1 %19,089,1462.3 %
Punctuality share of punctual arrivals and departures in percent80.178.7

(1) Excluding military flights

(2) Change over previous year