Many representatives of the industry had not expected such a massive revival of air traffic: According to current figures from the Federal Statistical Office, 64.4 million passengers bustled through Germany's main airports in the first six months of the year. That is around four times as many as in the first half of 2021.
215 percent more passengers in June
The rush at German airports was particularly strong in June. Around 16.3 million passengers were counted at the 23 largest airports in Germany – 215 percent more than in May. Pentecost in particular provided a foretaste of the chaos that many German airports are now experiencing: from hour-long queues to suitcases that arrived late. In June, the Frankfurt airport operator Fraport recorded the strongest month since the beginning of the corona pandemic.
However, the industry has not yet fully recovered from the Corona crisis. Neither in the first six months of this year nor in June has the pre-pandemic level been reached. In the first half of 2019, a third more passengers were counted.
Air freight above the pre-corona level
The situation is different with air freight. Here the pre-crisis value was clearly exceeded in the first six months of the year. The volume handled in Germany increased by 7.6 percent to 2.5 million tons compared to 2019. Compared to the same period of the previous year, however, this was a decline of 3.4 percent. Corona lockdowns in China and the blocking of Russian airspace as a result of the Ukraine war weighed on the air freight industry.
It is uncertain whether the number of air passengers will return to the pre-pandemic level this summer. The managers of the airlines and airports had so far adjusted to the fact that the pre-corona value would not be reached until 2024 or 2025 at the earliest. Ralph Beisel, general manager of the airport industry ADV, recently said that he expects 80 percent of the pre-crisis level for this year's summer holidays.