LONDON – Airport operator Fraport has significantly increased its revenue and operating key figures for both the third quarter and the first nine months of the 2022 fiscal year (corresponding to the calendar year in Germany).
The company has benefited from a strong resurgence in the demand for air travel. The expectation for the fourth quarter also remains optimistic.
For 2022 as a whole, Fraport is aiming for a result at the upper end of the forecasts. Likewise, passenger volumes in Frankfurt are expected to reach the upper range of predictions, between about 45 and 50 million.
“Over the past nine months, demand has surged dynamically. Following a modest start early in the year due to the braking effect of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the volume accelerated significantly from March into the fall,” says CEO Dr. Stefan Schulte of Fraport AG.
“This brisk growth is being driven by strong demand from leisure travelers. The airports of Fraport’s international portfolio that are located in popular holiday regions are benefiting to an especially great extent from this trend.”
“Our Greek airports have performed particularly well, even exceeding the volumes of pre-crisis 2019 during the first nine months of the year. In the third quarter we also significantly boosted the Group’s net profit, which had still been negative in the first half of the year as a result of the complete write-off of our investment in Russia.”
Vigorous recovery of passenger volumes
In the first nine months of 2022, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) welcomed a total of 35.9 million passengers. The year got off to a weak start due to the Omicron variant, but then demand rebounded quickly driven mainly by leisure travelers.
In several months of the current fiscal year, passenger volumes consistently exceeded the levels of the corresponding period of 2021 by more than 100 percent.
The peak was reached in April 2022, when the number of travelers more than tripled compared to the corresponding month of 2021.
Commenting on the summer travel surge, Dr. Schulte said: “Following the aviation industry’s longest and most painful crisis ever, the extremely rapid growth in passenger volumes posed numerous challenges.”
“Thanks to early and close coordination with our partners and jointly implemented measures, we nevertheless succeeded in ensuring largely stable and orderly operations for the around 7.2 million passengers that traveled from Frankfurt Airport during the summer school holidays in Hesse.”
“It has also been very important to us to provide a positive travel experience. To ensure this going forward, we are continuing to work hard to expand our operational resources. This year alone, for example, we have recruited about 1,800 new employees for baggage handling.”
Cargo volume decline
FRA’s cargo volume declined by 12.9 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2022. This was due to the overall situation of the economy as well as persistent airspace restrictions due to the war in Ukraine and comprehensive anti-Covid measures in China.
Across the Group, the airports of Fraport’s international portfolio also experienced a sharp increase in passenger traffic. Fraport’s 14 Greek airports boasted especially pronounced growth during the period from January to September 2022, exceeding the pre-crisis levels of 2019 by 3.1 percent.
In the third quarter of 2022, Fraport’s Group airports outside Germany, serving primarily as tourism gateways, recovered at a particularly lively pace – returning to 93 percent of the passenger levels registered in the same period of 2019.
FRA, with its considerably more complex hub functionality, reached about 74 percent of the 2019 passenger levels in the third quarter of 2022.