Frankfurt airport in September handled 5.3 percent less freight than a year ago and London Heathrow’s cargo traffic shrunk 3.7 percent, highlighting the accelerating slowdown in the global air cargo market.
The decline in Frankfurt, to 176,222 metric tons, follows a 6.8 percent slump in August traffic and leaves traffic down 0.7 percent in the first three quarters to 1.64 million metric tons.
Fraport, the operator of Europe’s largest air cargo hub, said traffic is “normalizing” at a high rate after a record 2010.
“Taking into account the sagging September figures, we expect Frankfurt’s air freight tonnage for the entire year to drop slightly,” said Fraport Executive Board chairman Stefan Schulte.
Frankfurt risks losing traffic in the final two months of the year after a regional court imposed a temporary ban on night flights that will mostly affect freighter flights.
Freight throughput at Fraport’s five majority-owned airports – Frankfurt, Antalya, Turkey; Lima, Peru; and Varna and Burgas in Bulgaria – dipped 3.8 percent on year in September to 209,806 metric tons. Traffic in the first three quarters was down 0.2 percent at 1.86 million metric tons.
London Heathrow, Europe’s third largest cargo hub, handled 119,097 metric tons in September leaving traffic in the first nine months 1 percent lower at 1.1 million tons. London Stansted, a freighter and express hub, reported traffic down 4.1 percent in September at 17,490 metric tons.
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