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Frankfurt airport caps flights to ‘stabilise’ operations

Frankfurt Airport has become the latest major European hub to curtail flights to cope with increased passenger numbers.

Fraport, which manages German airports, has reduced the number of take-offs and landings to 88 movements per hour from this week to “stabilize” flight operators.

The move follows similar announcements from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, which all limited capacity this summer as they struggle to deal with increased passenger and staff shortages following the pandemic.

Jens Ritter, CEO of Lufthansa Airlines, welcomed Fraport’s decision to limit the number of flights from Frankfurt Airport this summer.

“In recent weeks, we have already canceled flights in several waves to alleviate the overall situation,” Ritter said.

“Since the already increased capacity of ground handling services in Frankfurt is still not sufficient due to high sickness absence, even for flight schedules that have already been reduced several times, the decision taken by Fraport is correct.

“Other airlines flying to and from Frankfurt will now also contribute to an equal reduction and stabilization with flight cancellations.”

Frankfurt handled 5 million passengers in June, its busiest month since the start of the pandemic and a 181 percent increase compared to June 2021. However, the airport’s passenger traffic last month was still down 24.1 percent compared to June 2019.

Fraport CEO Stefan Schulte said: “This demonstrates the strong dynamics in air travel demand. We sincerely regret that, during peak traffic periods, our passengers in Frankfurt may currently experience extended waiting times including baggage reclaim at the terminal.

“We are working hard with all our partners to ensure that, in the medium term, we can once again deliver the quality standards expected by our passengers.”

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