Passenger volumes at German airports increased in April 2024

Scoreboard at Frankfurt am Main Airport (Photo: Jan Gruber).
Scoreboard at Frankfurt am Main Airport (Photo: Jan Gruber).

Passenger volumes at German airports increased in April 2024

Scoreboard at Frankfurt am Main Airport (Photo: Jan Gruber).
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In April 2024, German airports recorded a significant increase in passenger volumes, welcoming a total of 17,4 million arriving and departing passengers. This value represents an increase of around 2,3 million passengers compared to the previous month of March.

The increase is largely due to the Easter holidays, which triggered an increased desire to travel in many federal states. Despite this positive development, Germany lags behind in a European comparison: the recovery rate in April 2024 only reaches 82,1 percent of the pre-crisis level in 2019, while other European countries are already recording significantly higher values.

The number of passengers within Germany rose to 2,07 million in April, which corresponds to an increase of almost 209.000 passengers compared to March. This is an increase of 13 percent year-on-year, but the number of passengers remains 47,3 percent behind April 2019. European air traffic, which accounts for 70 percent of the total, recorded 11,93 million passengers, an increase of 20,2 percent compared to March and 7,9 percent year-on-year. Intercontinental flights grew by 10,6 percent compared to April 2023, reaching 3,37 million passengers.

There was also growth in the freight sector: a total of 393.548 tonnes were handled in April, which corresponds to an increase of 4,7 percent compared to the previous year. Compared to 2019, cargo volumes remained almost unchanged.

From January to April 2024, a total of 56,99 million passengers were counted at German airports, an increase of 11,9 percent compared to the same period last year. Despite the seasonal growth and the beginning of the summer flight schedule period, the recovery rate is only minimal and is 79,1 percent of the pre-crisis level in 2019. The high location costs in Germany, such as the air traffic tax and aviation security costs, are inhibiting growth. From May 1, 2024, an increase in air traffic tax will come into force, which will further reduce the willingness of many airlines to fly to and from Germany.

Cargo volumes have shown positive growth in three out of four months so far this year. Overall, air freight volumes from January to April totaled 1.552.404 tons, an increase of 1,1 percent compared to the same period last year. Uninvitations (imported goods) rose more sharply than invitations (exported goods). Travelers and industry experts are looking forward to the coming months to see whether the positive development will continue despite the challenges.

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