Frankfurt Airport traffic Falls 62% with planes parkedApril 21st, 2020
Although it is the centre of German aviation, the global pandemic that has caused a great reduction in traffic has also hit the Frankfurt Airport hard. In March alone, the airport’s passenger traffic dropped by over 60%. However, its cargo operations are still fully functional.
A once busy airport with aircrafts arriving and departing in high numbers, the Frankfurt Airport now resembles an abandoned town, compared to when passengers filled their aircraft and airports. The usual scene of aircraft lining up to land has changed with only just a few an hour, and many of these aircraft are hauling freight.
It is not a surprise at all that the number of passengers handled by Frankfurt airport has fallen as this has become the new pattern being observed all over the world, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 that has resulted in government travel bans, as an effort to curb the spread of the virus. From March last year, the number of passengers at Frankfurt airport is now down by 62%.
Frankfurt now looks like an aviation parking lot with many aircraft grounded, and their engines covered up. In fact, one of four of the airport’s runways is now being used for parking and storing aircraft.
Airport authorities believe that the figures for April would continue to drop. In a press release, Fraport said:
“During week 15 (April 6-12), traffic at Frankfurt Airport plummeted by 96.8% to 46,338 passengers compared to the same week in 2019.”
London Heathrow also has experienced about the same level of traffic fall from February to March as Frankfurt.
Despite the dropping numbers in passenger traffic, the cargo service to and from Frankfurt has risen from February to March even though fewer passenger aircraft are flying with cargo in their bellies.
Although Lufthansa has already grounded the majority of its fleet and is sending some to long term storage, it has an entire freight fleet in the air to keep global supplies line moving, and Frankfurt is its home for cargo operations. Lufthansa was one of the first airlines to convert passenger aircraft for cargo freight, and many airlines are now doing the same.