Munich Airport set a new record for passenger traffic in the first six months of the 2018 operating year with a total of 21.7 million passengers – which was driven by international routes.
This represents an increase of about three per cent and could have been even better though, as growth was dampened in the first half by an unusually high number of flight cancellations, largely due to thunderstorms. There were 2,600 more cancelled flights than in the first half of 2017.
International traffic remained the main growth driver at Munich Airport. On routes within Europe, traffic increased by around 600,000 passengers – or 4.6 per cent – as compared with the first half of 2017.
On intercontinental routes, the passenger total was about five per cent higher. A major driver behind this above-average growth in long-haul traffic was Lufthansa, which substantially increased its capacity in this segment.
Since the start of the summer timetable period, the German carrier has had five of its 14 Airbus A380s stationed in Munich which depart daily for Hong Kong, Beijing and Los Angeles and achieves high load factors on all three routes.
Speaking at the Munich Press Club, airport chief executive officer, Dr. Michael Kerkloh called the decision by Lufthansa to station the A380 fleet in Munich “a remarkable success story”.
He added: “This is of course a very convincing demonstration of the excellence of Lufthansa’s route planners and sales experts. But the strong response to the additional flights is also indicative of Munich Airport’s potential as a rapidly growing hub.”
The boom in the long-haul segment is likely to continue in the second half of the year. As “the most important newcomer”, Kerkloh announced Colombian airline Avianca will be offering five weekly departures from Munich to Bogota as of 17 November.
Another non-stop connection to South America will be launched in the first half of 2019 by LATAM Airlines. South America’s largest airline will offer scheduled flights from Munich to the Brazilian metropolis of Sao Paulo.