Aviation article(s)
March 19, 2024

Air freight volumes at Frankfurt Airport declined for the whole of 2023 as challenges to the air cargo sector continued to restrict trade movement, particularly in Europe.

Fraport — which operates Frankfurt Airport — said cargo volumes in Frankfurt declined by 3.9% year-on-year to around 1.9 million metric tons for the fiscal year 2023.

“Causes included general market-based factors, such as restrictions in European airspace and weak economic growth resulting from the global geopolitical situation,” it added.

Nonetheless, the airport operator said Frankfurt remained as Europe’s busiest air cargo hub last year.

“Despite this difficult market situation, Frankfurt Airport was still able to hold its own against its competitors and remain Europe’s biggest and most attractive cargo airport,” Fraport said.

Meanwhile, Fraport has concluded the 2023 fiscal year with record highs for its revenue and operating result (or EBITDA) driven by a continued recovery in passenger numbers — particularly at the Fraport Group’s airports outside Germany — resulting in a net profit increase of €430.5 million.

“Traffic continued to develop dynamically throughout 2023. Fraport benefited from this trend, particularly because of its broad international portfolio. Our airports in the Greek and Turkish markets even achieved new passenger records in 2023. Our home base, Frankfurt Airport, continued to experience the strongest recovery of all major German airports. However, with passenger levels at 84% of pre-crisis levels, Frankfurt still lagged clearly behind other European competitors,” said Dr Stefan Schulte, CEO of Fraport AG.

“The main dampening factor in Frankfurt was high location-related costs, with the proportion of levies and fees imposed by regulators having doubled since 2019.”

Schulte went on to say that if civil aviation taxes and aviation security fees are raised further, “as planned by the Government, airport operators in Germany will face even more challenging.”

“The Government should change course and instead support our industry in the changeover to carbon-free operations and other important initiatives,” the Fraport chief added.

For the current fiscal year 2024, Fraport expects group EBITDA to be between roughly €1,260 million and €1,360 million. For the Group result, the figure is expected to be between approximately €435 million and €530 million.

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