At Munich Airport the indicators are again pointing to growth: The total passenger volume in the first half of 2010 reached 15.8 million, a gain of approximately 3 percent over the previous year's level. This growth rate places Munich well above the nation-wide trend. Germany's other airports reported an average increase of just 1.5 percent. The rise in passenger traffic in Munich is even more remarkable against the backdrop of the long, hard winter, a strike by airline pilots and the effects of the volcanic eruption in Iceland. These special factors resulted in a total of about 9,000 flight cancellations, which is equivalent to a decrease of some 800,000 in total passengers. Without these cancelled flights, the growth in passenger volume would have been more than twice as high.
The significant increase in demand, which was already evident in the final quarter of last year, continued through the first six months of 2010, culminating in the best June result in the airport's history, with a 12 percent improvement on the same month a year earlier. "The negative trend is clearly at an end, and Munich Airport is again posting dynamic gains," said Dr Michael Kerkloh, the CEO of FMG, the airport operating company, who was on hand at the Munich Press Club to present the airport's half-year figures.
In June the airport also finally experienced a return to growth in flight operations. For the first half of the year as a whole, the total number of flights still showed a negative trend, with an overall decline of 6 percent, mainly as a result of the airlines using larger aircraft. The planes operated on Munich routes had an average of eight seats more than in the previous year, and also showed improved capacity utilisation. The average load factor increased from 69 to 71 percent.
The freight segment also benefitted enormously from the resurgent economy. Never before has Munich Airport handled this much cargo in half a year: The new record is now 126,900 tons of flown airfreight, a massive 27 percent increase over the first half of 2009. The increased import and export tonnage at Munich Airport is mainly attributable to co-loaded freight on long-haul flights. The long-haul offerings of airlines in Munich is steadily increasing, with 258 intercontinental flights departing from the Bavarian capital every week for 44 destinations around the world.