Fraport reports record profit, but cargo struggles

Image Source: Fraport

Fraport, the airport operator that operates Germany’s busiest airfreight hub of Frankfurt Airport and also has interests in numerous other air gateways worldwide, has reported all-time high profit revenue, earnings and profit for the third quarter of this year.

This record performance boosted an overall strong first nine months of this year. Indeed, Fraport reported financial results over the first three quarters of this year that exceeded the same period of pre-pandemic 2019.

However, cargo volumes (comprising both airfreight and air mail) passing through its primary hub of Frankfurt declined by 7.5 percent year on year over the first nine months of 2023 compared to the same period of last year.

This was largely due to weak demand for airfreight as a result of “the constraints in the global economy”, the airport operator said.

Cargo traffic through Frankfurt in September, the last month for which figures are available actually enjoyed a slight growth of 1.3 % compared to the same month of 2022. However, compared to pre-pandemic 2019, traffic was down by 6.4 %.

In fact, the approximately 163,700 tonnes handled in September 2023 were well below the average of almost 180,000 tonnes for a September month over many years in the past.

In 2019, Frankfurt handled 2.1m tonnes of cargo across the entire year. Cargo volumes reached 2m tonnes in 2022.

As a business, Fraport chief executive Stefan Schulte believes that Frankfurt is “overcoming the crisis faster than other major German airports”.

Frankfurt’s winter schedule, which came into effect on October 29, sees 82 airlines serve 242 destinations across 94 countries. The airport will thus continue to be Germany’s most important international aviation hub.

In the long-haul market, a Rio de Janeiro connection has returned to the schedule. Lufthansa is resuming flights from Frankfurt to Brazil’s second-most populous city, initially on a tri-weekly basis.

There is also to be an increase in connectivity with India. Vistara will operate six flights a week to Mumbai from November 15, supplementing daily flights flown by Lufthansa.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa will resume its five-times weekly service to Hyderabad from January 16 next year.

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