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Adjusted passenger figures show passenger gain of 6 to 7 percent at FRA

Fraport traffic figures: Visible growth in April

The impact of the global financial and economic crisis on traffic at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) has now been relegated to the history books. In the reporting month of April 2011, traffic volumes for passengers, cargo (airfreight plus airmail) and MTOWs (Maximum Takeoff Weights) all reached new April records and surpassed the April 2008 figures. FRA’s dramatic 31 percent year-on year growth in passenger traffic is, first and foremost, the result of a statistical base effect. In April 2010 the ash cloud from the volcanic eruption in Iceland brought European aviation to a standstill for almost one week. Eliminating all special effects – including political unrest in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) as well as the earthquake/Tsunami catastrophe in Japan and taking into account the late-occurring Easter travel season in April this year instead of March in 2010 – FRA ends up with "regular" growth of 210,000 to 250,000 passengers in April 2011. This represents a passenger gain of about six to seven percent year-on-year.

Commenting on the latest traffic report, Fraport executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte said: "Even before the opening of Frankfurt Airport’s new runway in October 2011, we are seeing impressive confirmation of our expectations for noticeable growth in air traffic. We have immediately achieved record performance during this first month of the new summer timetable."

Schulte further explained that Fraport registered more than 4.6 million passengers at its Frankfurt Airport home base; a year ago the figure was only 3.5 million passengers. Germany’s leading air transportation hub also handled about 187,000 metric tons of airfreight in April 2011, up approximately 13 percent year-on-year. Aircraft movements climbed by 25.4 percent to some 40,000 takeoffs and landings last month. Accumulated MTOWs (maximum takeoff weights) reached well over 2.4 million metric tons – rising 23.5 percent year-on-year.

Not only Fraport’s home airport recorded a dynamic growth trend. The Group’s majority-owned airports overseas also experienced strong growth in April 2011. Leading the way, Antalya Airport (AYT) served 1.6 million passengers and achieved growth of 45.1 percent in the reporting month. Part of this increase can be attributed to the special situation in the North Africa tourism market and to this year’s Easter traffic occurring in April.

Peru’s Lima Airport (LIM) followed with a 23.6 jump in traffic to 920,000 passengers. The Bulgarian Black Sea airports of Varna (VAR) and Burgas (BOJ) still operate at a smaller statistical spring base for passenger figures, which can lead to unusual percent growth values. In the reporting month, BOJ saw traffic surge by almost 200 percent to 19,500 passengers, while VAR experienced a modest 0.6 percent increase to 31,600 passengers.

The Fraport Group’s five majority-owned airports welcomed a total of 7.2 million passengers in April 2011, representing year-on-year growth of 33 percent.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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