German airports see bleak 2009

German airports see bleak 2009

… more than the 3 percent estimated by industry association ADV as businesses and consumers spend less on travel amid the global economic crisis.

"We are currently posting a decline of 10 percent, on average," said Michael Kerkloh, head of Munich Airport, at a press briefing late on Wednesday.

Airport operator Fraport has seen passenger numbers at its main airport in Frankfurt move sideways in the past two weeks, after a 4.8 percent decline in February.

"The 3 percent are not achievable," said Fraport's Chief Financial Officer Matthias Zieschang on Wednesday.

Germany's airports posted a slide in passenger numbers of around 12 percent, with bigger declines in cargo volumes, according to ADV. The association's president Ralph Beisel has said the situation is not about to improve, either.

"We are being hit on two sides," said Michael Garvens, chief executive of Cologne/Bonn airport. Not only were there fewer passenger coming through the airport, but they were also spending less while they were there, he said.

Airports rely heavily on travellers' retail spending in shops and restaurants in the terminals.