Frankfurt Cargo Soars 30 Percent in February

Frankfurt Cargo Soars 30 Percent in February

Frankfurt airport's freight traffic soared 30.1 percent in February from a year ago, maintaining the momentum from January when shipments rose by almost a third to an all-time high for the opening month of the year.

Europe's biggest air cargo hub handled 163,469 metric tons of freight in February, taking traffic for the first two months of the year to 321,106 metric tons, up 31.1 percent from the same period in 2009.

February's increase fell short of the 32.2 percent growth recorded in January partly due to a one day strike by Lufthansa pilots which cut freighter traffic and belly hold cargo carried in passenger aircraft.

Frankfurt's passenger traffic fell by one percent in February from a year ago to 3.3 million, according to airport operator Fraport.

Without the strike, and hurricane Xynthia which affected large parts of Europe, passenger traffic would have increased by four to five percent, Fraport chief executive Stefan Schulte said.

Fraport group airports - Antalya, Turkey, Burgas and Varna in Bulgaria, Lima, Peru and Frankfurt - handled 182,192 metric tons of cargo in February, 28.6 percent more than in the same month in 2009.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.