FRA Again Europe’s Biggest Freight Hub

FRA Again Europe’s Biggest Freight Hub

Volumes at Frankfurt Airport grew by 1.8% in 2016.

With this result, FRA continues to be the European airport with the biggest freight volumes. We have also reinforced our position among the top ten airports globally, climbing to seventh place overall. The positive performance was driven by the BRIC nations in particular.


Frankfurt is again Europe's leading freight airport. Almost 2.2 million metric tons of cargo were transported via Frankfurt Airport in 2016, an increase of 1.8%.

Following below-average development in the previous year, 2016 also began slowly, with cargo tonnage declining by 1.0% in the first quarter. However, this was followed by growth of 2.3% and 2.4% in the next two quarters, with tonnage increasing by as much as 3.3% in the final quarter of the year.

Airfreight hold utilization improved steadily over the course of the year. In particular, freighter capacity utilization enjoyed positive development, with the volume loaded onto freighters increasing by 2.5% compared with 0.6% for belly freight. Accordingly, freighters accounted for 62.7% of the total airfreight volume, up around 0.4 percentage points on the previous year and a new record high.

Growth was driven by traffic with the BRIC nations. Expansionary economic policy led to improved GDP growth in China (+7.5%) and India (+9.4%). The recessionary trend in Brazil also eased, resulting in a 5.8% increase in demand on routes between the country and Frankfurt Airport. Traffic with Russia increased by a full 35.6%, as a lot of freight to and from the Far East is reloaded here.

So far, the new year has continued where the old year left off: with an ongoing growth trend driven by strong economic data. In the first quarter of 2017, cargo traffic increased by 5.8% to almost 530,000 metric tons, the highest volume for six years.