Frankfurt airport handled 16.8 percent less freight in January than a year ago as uncertainty over the global economy and a night flight ban continued to weigh on Europe’s second-largest air cargo hub.
The decline, to 141,340 metric tons, also reflected lower imports from the Far East because of the shuttering of factories during China’s two week-long New Year’s festival, said airport owner Fraport. Last year the festival, which began Jan. 23 this year, fell wholly in February.
The night flight ban that came into effect at the end of October has contributed to year-on-year declines in cargo of 10.8 percent in November and 6.5 percent in December as it mainly affects Lufthansa Cargo freighter services.
Germany’s highest administrative court will make a final ruling in March on whether the night flight ban, introduced to curb aircraft noise, should become permanent.
Cargo traffic at Fraport’s five majority-owned airports — Frankfurt, Lima, Peru; Antalya, Turkey and Burgas and Varna in Bulgaria — was down 13.8 percent on January 2010 at 167,415 tons.
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