Frankfurt Cargo Plunges On Night Flight Ban

Frankfurt Cargo Plunges On Night Flight Ban

Frankfurt airport handled 10.8 percent less freight in November than a year ago as Europe’s second largest cargo hub took a double hit from a night flight ban and the downturn in the global air cargo market.

The year-over-year decline, to 181,642 metric tons, also gave Frankfurt a 2.9 percent sequential drop from October to November. It followed a year-on-year decrease of 9.3 percent in October and was more than twice the 5.3 percent drop in September.

Fraport, the airport owner, pointed out last month’s decline was from an historic high in November 2010.

But the drop in Frankfurt’s volume is much larger than declines at rival European hubs, including London Heathrow, where freight dipped a more modest 4.1 percent in November to 122,769 tons.

The sharply lower cargo traffic contrasts with a 4.5 percent gain in passengers to a November record of approximately 4.3 million.

Frankfurt is bracing for further steep monthly falls as a regional court ban on night flights, which came into effect on Oct. 31 and mostly affects freighters, will remain in place until early March when a Federal court is due to deliver a final ruling.

The November decrease left Frankfurt’s traffic in the first 11 of the year down 2.5 percent at just over two million tons.