Frankfurt Airport has seen a rebound in its passenger figures for May. However, the increase was very subtle. The values rose by 45%, showing that almost 10,000 more passengers used the airport last month. Despite the subtle rise in passenger numbers, freight experienced a healthy increase in May.
Figures from the TSA, FlightRadar24.com, and many other sources have previously indicated that April was by far the worst month when it comes to the crippling situation affecting the aviation industry. However, having passed the trough of the curve, the industry is showing slow but steady signs of recovery.
45% passenger increase
Frankfurt Airport took an incredible hit from the current crisis in April. The majority of Lufthansa’s fleet was grounded, and many international carriers suspended services to the German aviation capital. Those services that did operate mostly weren’t packed to the rafters. As a result, in the whole of April, the airport handled fewer passengers than in an average April day last year.
Thankfully this sad figure didn’t carry through to May. On an average day in May 2019, Frankfurt Airport handled around 201,000 passengers. Yet, for May 2020, the airport handled 272,826 passengers. This accounts for a fall of 95.6% year on year. In total, for the first five months of 2020, passengers were down by 57.2% compared to the previous year.
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In the first week of June alone, Frankfurt handled 111,823 passengers. However, with Europe mostly reopened internally today, and airlines ramping up their services offerings, the remainder of June and July should see significant jumps in passenger numbers. Indeed, by the end of June, the Lufthansa Group is hoping to operate 1,800 flights per week. A large number of these will start or end in Frankfurt.
A slight surge in cargo?
While not as severe as that encountered by passenger traffic, cargo arriving at and departing from Frankfurt did take a noticeable tumble in April. While not at 2019 levels, it seems as though cargo throughput has sprung back.
Indeed, all in all, 158,380 tonnes of cargo were loaded and unloaded at Frankfurt Airport during May. This was down 13.6% from the previous year. However, it had risen by 14% from April to May. For context, cargo fell by 16.2% from March to April.
Frankfurt put the reduction in cargo figures year on year down to the loss of capacity in the belly of freighters. The airport has instead had to rely on dedicated freight flights. Etihad and El Al are among the names that have been operating freight flights with passenger aircraft.
Meanwhile, Lufthansa has gone as far as to remove seats from some aircraft altogether to increase storage capacity. The airline has dubbed these aircraft as “preighters.”
When did you last fly through Frankfurt Airport? Let us know about your experience in the comments!