Düsseldorf remains Germany’s 4th largest airport (Photo: Luc Citrinot)

Germany’s 28 commercial airports handled just over 78.7 million passengers in 2021 in its second year of pandemic. The German Airports Association ADV considers this a success – even if the 2021 figures are still a long way from the 2019 record.

German airport traffic is still 68.6% lower than in 2019. In the last year before the pandemic, German airports had recorded 248.5 million passengers. By 2020, this traffic had fallen to 63.12 million passengers.

In fact, the VDA notes that traffic only picked up in the second quarter of last year, and that the development of passenger traffic was severely hampered for the majority of the year by the absence of intercontinental routes. Travel to Asia was virtually impossible in 2021. The United States and Canada did not open until the end of the year. On intercontinental routes, growth was only 8.4%, mainly concentrated in the last quarter.

Europe proved to be the foundation of growth. Germany-Europe traffic grew by 38.4% compared to 2020. However, it remains nearly 64% lower than before the pandemic.

Competition with high-speed rail and environmental considerations in general have weighed heavily on domestic traffic. Intra-German traffic has fallen by 19.1% compared to 2020 and by -79.5% compared to 2019.

180 million passengers forecast for 2022

Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub has experienced very strong growth with a 32.2% increase last year. Munich,

the company’s second largest hub, lagged behind with an increase of 12.5%. Berlin’s development is very disappointing, as it has not managed to pass the 10 million passenger mark with a traffic increase of only 9.3% in 2021.

See also  Residence

In 2022, ADV expects traffic to continue to rise. The reopening of intercontinental routes -America and partly Asia and the Middle East, the demand for Europe during the summer with the easing of travel restrictions should boost passenger traffic. In a press conference held in late December 2021, Ralph Beisel, executive director of the VDA, expressed optimism about traffic trends at airports. “Although in the winter months, traffic demand will still be driven by the pandemic situation and the resulting restrictions,” he said.

For the current year, ADV expects an additional 100 million passengers. That is, about 180 million passengers. This would correspond to more than 70% of the traffic of 2019.

Passenger traffic at German airports with more than 10 million passengers between 2019 and 2021

(in millions)

Airport 2019 2020 2021 2021/2020
Frankfurt 70,56 18,77 24,81 +32,2%
Munich 47,94 11,11 12,49 +12,5%
Berlin 35,65 9,10 9,95 +9,3%
Düsseldorf 25,51 6,58 7,95 +20,9%
Hamburg 17,31 4,56 5,32 +16,6%
Stuttgart 12,72 3,21 3,57 +11,4%
Cologne/Bonn 12,37 3,08 4,25 +38,1%

(Source: ADV)