Frankfurt Cargo Slumped 9.3 Percent in October

Frankfurt Cargo Slumped 9.3 Percent in October

Frankfurt airport handled 9.3 percent less cargo in October than a year ago, a significant acceleration on previous monthly declines at Europe’s second largest freight hub.

The drop, to 187,000 metric tons, followed year-on-year declines of 5.3 percent in September and 6.8 percent in August, according to Fraport, the owner of the airport.

Frankfurt is bracing for lower figures in the coming months after a regional court ban on night flights from October 31 is likely to depress traffic at Lufthansa Cargo, the airport’s biggest freight customer. The ban will remain in place until at least early March when a federal court is due to deliver a final ruling.

Cargo throughput at Fraport’s majority-owned airports — Frankfurt, Antalya, Turkey; Lima, Peru; and Varna and Burgas in Bulgaria — was down 7.3 percent in October at 220,000 tons.

“Because of the overall downward trend in the cargo sector, Fraport expects a slight decline in cargo throughput at Frankfurt for the entire fiscal year 2011,” Fraport said.

Frankfurt cargo tonnage in the first nine months of 2011 was down 0.5 percent, or approximately 9,000 tons, from last year’s record, at 1.67 million tons. Group traffic was down 0.2 percent at 1.88 million tons.

Fraport’s third quarter revenue grew 7.1 percent from a year ago to $905 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were 9.8 percent higher at $391.5 million.

-- Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.