Air cargo traffic at Europe's busiest cargo airport fell in the first half of the year as China's coronavirus lockdown and the war in Ukraine took a toll on cargo demand.
Airport operator Fraport AG said air cargo demand fell 11% year-on-year to 1 million tonnes in the first six months of the year.
"Following a strong 2021 air cargo performance, the decline was largely attributable to post-war airspace restrictions in Ukraine and the impact of the numerous lockdowns imposed in China as part of its zero-coronavirus strategy," the airport operator said.
The airport was also affected by ground handling capacity constraints during the year.
In January, Lufthansa Cargo imposed an embargo on certain cargoes in Frankfurt as it battled staff shortages caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
In July, the hub's first-half results would not be affected, but further restrictions were imposed due to a shortage of airport staff at Fraport to handle the business. Air cargo volumes fell 11.8% to 167,771 tonnes in June. "China's slow but sure opening has affected small growth in global manufacturing. Still, the global purchasing managers' index remains at a 22-month low," Fraport said. "The main reason for this downturn is the stagnation of new orders in the very important industrial areas of the US and Europe's eurozone."
"The delivery chain is a little less stressed. However, the handling situation at the airport remains tight." Cargo volumes on freighters fell by 18.3% in June compared to June 2021. Cargo traffic on the belly of passenger aircraft increased by 10.2% due to an increase in scheduled passenger flights. However, compared to previous months, this number has declined. As a result, the freight share of freighters rose slightly to 72% in June.
“[In June] inbound cargo fell by 11.8% and outbound cargo by 12.8%,” Fraport added. “While China’s Covid-19 regulations remain relatively strict, the trend towards opening up has indeed had a clear positive impact on freight development.
“As a result, [Asia] tonnage is down only 2.9% compared to June 2021. Air cargo traffic connecting Eastern Europe is almost at a standstill (-91.9%). North American traffic continues to decline (-15.3%). 2021 In June, Latin America was only 3.9% lower than the statistics. Only Africa-related freight volumes increased by 13.2%.”
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