In March 2020, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) served some 2.1 million passengers – a 62.0 percent decline compared to March last year. For the first three months of 2020, accumulated passenger traffic at FRA fell by 24.9 percent. Travel restrictions and the slump in demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic had a massive impact on traffic, with this negative trend accelerating during March. Repatriation flights organized by tour operators and the German government attenuated these effects only slightly.
Aircraft movements at FRA decreased by 45.7 percent year-on-year to 22,838 takeoffs and landings. Accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) also contracted by 39.2 percent to about 1.6 million metric tons. Cargo throughput (comprising airfreight and airmail) slipped by 17.4 percent to 167,279 metric tons.
Week of April 6-12: Traffic at FRA plummets by 96.8 percent
The decline in passenger traffic is continuing in the current month of April. During Week 15 (April 6-12), traffic at Frankfurt Airport plummeted by 96.8 percent to 46,338 passengers compared to the same week in 2019. Aircraft movements shrank by 86.3 percent to 1,435 takeoffs and landings. Cargo volumes (airfreight + airmail) fell by 28.1 percent to 32,027 metric tons. Although the number of cargo-only flights grew by about 29 percent year-on-year – reflecting the higher demand for additional capacities to maintain vital supply chains – this increase could not fully compensate for the loss in belly freight (shipped on passenger aircraft). At the beginning of April (Week 14: March 30 – April 5), passenger traffic was already declining by 95.2 percent year-on-year.
International Group airports also report noticeable decline in traffic
In March 2020, for the first time, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Fraport’s entire international portfolio – with passenger traffic dropping noticeably at all Group airports. Each country implemented specific measures to counter the virus. Some countries introduced travel restrictions (for example, Brazil, Bulgaria, Russia, India and China), while other countries temporarily suspended flight operations (Ljubljana and Lima).
Slovenia’s Ljubljana Airport (LJU) registered a 72.8 percent decline in traffic to 36,409 passengers. Combined traffic for Fraport’s two Brazilian airports in Fortaleza (FOR) and Porto Alegre (POA) fell by 37.5 percent to 773,745 passengers. Lima Airport (LIM) in Peru experienced a 47.8 percent dip in traffic to 962,507 passengers.
Combined passenger figures for the 14 Greek regional airports shrank by 58.8 percent to 293,525 passengers. Bulgaria’s Twin Star airports in Burgas (BOJ) and Varna (VAR) received 39,916 passengers, down 46.1 percent year-on-year.
At Antalya Airport (AYT) in Turkey, traffic figures declined by 46.9 percent to 570,013 passengers. At St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport (LED) in Russia, traffic slipped by 27.5 percent to 964,874 passengers. With about 1.3 million passengers in March 2020, Xi’an Airport (XIY) in China recorded 66.1 percent fewer passengers compared to the same month last year.