Frankfurt Airport eases restrictions on freight flights to help fight COVID pandemic

Published: Friday, May 29, 2020

FRANKFURT: Frankfurt Airport, one of the busiest airports across the world, eases restrictions on cargo policies to ensure immediate shipment of vital cargo supplies globally as countries grapple to save lives and fight the Coronavirus pandemic.

Frankfurt Airport says it’s well prepared to provide the best for the air cargo industry at this time. It also has the world’s biggest pharma handling facilities with 12,000 m2 temperature-controlled handling and storage areas.

The company says the passenger flights are still at an all-time low but it’s seeing a rise in freight flights to North America, Southeast Asia and China with the possibility of demand further increasing in the coming months to keep a steady flow of vital medical supplies and equipment as well as food supplies.

“Together with all players in the airfreight industry, we are doing our best to make up for a loss in capacities and routes. Our goal is to ensure supply, in particular by stepping up dedicated freight services,” Max Philipp Conrady, Head of Freight Development and Freight Management at Fraport AG, said in a press statement.

In March 2020, Frankfurt Airport said it served some 2.1 million passengers, down 62 percent compared to March 2019. Aircraft movements at FRA decreased by 45.7 percent year-on-year to 22,838 takeoffs and landings.

Accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) also contracted by 39.2 percent to about 1.6 million metric tons. Cargo throughput (comprising airfreight and airmail) slipped by 17.4 percent to 167,279 metric tons.

For the first three months of 2020, accumulated passenger traffic at FRA fell by 24.9 percent. Travel restrictions and the slump in demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic had a massive impact on traffic, with this negative trend accelerating during March. Repatriation flights organized by tour operators and the German government cushioned the bad situation slightly.