Fraport Group’s August 2016 numbers provide a sobering perspective into the state of the global aviation industry. The airport management company has a stake in airports around the world, providing an insight into rates of high value in representative countries – and the news is less than spectacular.
At Fraport’s largest operation, Frankfurt International Airport, year-over-year freight traffic was flat in August at 169,091 tonnes, while passenger numbers actually fell 5 percent. Aircraft movements at FRA in August declined 2.3 percent, y-o-y, to 41,803 takeoffs and landings. Fraport blamed the ongoing geopolitical situation.
Two other fully owned airports in the Fraport family reported declines in cargo volumes. Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Lima, Peru, shed cargo to the tune of 2.6 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively, y-o-y, in August.
Meanwhile, Bulgaria continues to thrive, with y-o-y gains in August of 79 percent at Burgas and 33 percent at Varna, which both carry relatively little traffic to begin with. Varna’s airport, for example, only handled 12 tonnes in August, making its gains insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
At equity consolidated airports, Antalya Turkey took another beating as Turkey’s turmoil continues to scare away tourists, which drew down cargo tonnage as well. Fraport does not report cargo numbers there, but Turkish Cargo’s tonnage rose 12 percent to 389,000 tonnes in the first half, even as revenue fell by US$1 million, y-o-y, to $464 million. However, most of the aforementioned volume moved through non-Fraport airports, such as Istanbul and Ankara.
Hannover Airport saw cargo increase by 19.7 percent to 1,400 tonnes – but again, Hannover is not a major cargo hub, so the growth comes from a small base. Xi’an, in China, saw its cargo volumes decline by 6 percent to 17,937 tonnes, in spite of a 5.1 percent increase in aircraft movement to 25,880.
Overall, Fraport’s operations saw passenger numbers increase at a healthy clip, while cargo gains were lackluster at best.
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