Frankfurt airport reports more passengers, less cargo | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 16.04.2012
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Frankfurt airport reports more passengers, less cargo

Germany's biggest and busiest airport, Frankfurt, has logged a new passenger record for March that's way above its former all-time high achieved five years ago. But cargo handling has gone down dramatically.

Germany's Frankfurt airport was able to considerably increase passenger numbers last month, its operator Fraport announced on Monday.

The country's biggest aviation hub handled 4.5 million travelers in March 2012, up 4.1 percent month-on-month. It thus managed to set up a new monthly record by surpassing by 50,000 passengers the previous all-time high logged for March 2007.

In the first quarter of the current year, Frankfurt airport welcomed 12.2 million passengers, an increase of 3.5 percent year-on-year.

But the overall picture was marred by a slump in cargo handling in the period under revision. Last month, the volume of freight passing through the airport was down 10.9 percent month-on-month to total 184,000 tons, with cargo handling for the whole first quarter decreasing by 11.7 percent.

Shareholders disappointed

Fraport attributed the drop to global financial uncertainties and a ban on night-time flights at the airport which hurt its freight business particularly with Lufthansa Cargo.

Only two weeks ago, Germany's Federal Administrative Court in a fresh ruling confirmed a ban on flights between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. which had come into effect in the fall of last year.

Fraport stocks, which are listed in the German non-blue-chip MDax, were the biggest loser in early Monday trading, dipping by 1.7 percent.

hg/mll (Reuters, dpa)