Munich Airport begins slow climb out of covid crevasse

Munich United Airlines
Munich Airport CEO Jost Lammers (left front) and the head of the United base in Munich, Ulrike Kraft, as well as other representatives of the airline and the airport.
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Munich Airport is welcoming back a gradual reinstatement of passenger services after the coronavirus crushed passenger numbers by two-thirds and slashed cargo volumes by half in the first six months.

The airport posted a 46.5 per cent year-on-year cargo decline for the first half of this year — from 162,583 tonnes in 2019 to 87,134 tonnes this year.

In the second quarter alone, the airport saw a 78 per cent year-on-year decline in cargo volumes as passenger traffic at MUC came to a virtual standstill owing to the global travel restrictions.

The cargo volumes would have been worse off had it not been for special flights catering to the desperate need for PPE, medical supplies, and other goods in the early months of the pandemic.

After years of continuous traffic growth, the global spread of the coronavirus caused passenger numbers at Munich Airport to drop for the first time, falling by nearly 15 million to just under 7.8 million in the first half of 2020. This represented a reduction of two-thirds compared to the previous year’s level.

Munich Emirates
(l-r) Airline relationship manager for Flughafen München, Oliver Dersch; airport director Jost Lammers; Captain Adam Schmidlechner; Emirates station leader, Joachim Sobottka-Rogalla; FMG airline relationship manager Stephan Weisang; and Flughafen München aviation director andreas von Puttkamer.

Resumption of pax services
Among the carriers to restart connections to MUC, United Airlines is resuming its flight connection to Washington. A B787-9 will serve the route three times a week. Additional flights to Newark are to be added in August.

For airport CEO Jost Lammers, the resumption of the Washington connection marks another step towards returning to normal.

“We are delighted that United Airlines is restarting flights with us and connecting Munich to another attractive, long-haul destination in North America. The resumption of the Washington route once again underlines the importance of Munich as a hub for international air traffic.”

Munich is also regaining important connections to the Gulf with Emirates and Etihad Airways both resuming flights to the Bavarian capital.

Emirates will connect Munich to Dubai utilising a B777 four times a week.

Etihad Airways is also resuming its flights from Munich flying to Abu Dhabi two times a week with a B787. The airline will be offering two further weekly connections to the same destination from August.

Since mid-June, when the travel restrictions within the EU were lifted, a slow upward trend is becoming apparent, Munich notes. Where only a few thousand passengers per week were counted in April, numbers were already rising above 100,000 in the first week of July.

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