Passenger numbers at Germany’s largest airport, Frankfurt Airport (FRA), dropped by 73.4 percent year-on-year to around 18.8 million in 2020, airport operator Fraport announced on Monday.
“The year 2020 brought extreme challenges to the entire aviation industry,” executive board chairman at Fraport AG Stefan Schulte said in a statement. Passenger volumes in Frankfurt dropped to a level that was last seen in 1984.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, passenger numbers started to fall significantly in mid-March, according to Fraport. By April and June, air traffic at Frankfurt Airport “almost came to a complete standstill,” with passenger numbers plummeting by up to 98 percent in some weeks.
After a slight recovery in the third quarter, rising COVID-19 infection rates and related restrictions caused a renewed and sustained slump in passenger numbers from September last year onwards. In December, passenger numbers at Frankfurt Airport were down 81.7 percent year-on-year.
At Frankfort Airport, cargo traffic was “one of the few bright spots,” said Schulte. Cargo throughput, airfreight and airmail, dropped only 8.3 percent year-on-year to just under two million metric tons last year.
The airport operator was optimistic that due to COVID-19 vaccination programs, travel restrictions would be gradually reduced from spring onwards.
However, a difficult year would lie ahead. “While we are confident passenger traffic will exceed last year’s level, we still expect Frankfurt to reach only 35 to 45 percent of the 2019 level,” said Schulte.
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