Munich Airport saw a record number of passengers in the first six months of 2019 as international travel demand steadily increased. First-half passenger numbers grew 5% year-over-year (YOY) to 22.7 million.

Munich Airport president and CEO Michael Kerkloh said, “The number of passengers traveling between Munich and international destinations in the first half of 2019 was 1 million higher than in the same period a year earlier.”

Disproportionate growth was seen, especially in the intercontinental segment where growth in total passengers was 10.6%, more than double the Europe-wide growth rate of 4.5%.

Lufthansa Group’s second major hub—behind Frankfurt—is Munich, where the company has been growing its long-haul network.

On July 9, Lufthansa announced it will base two additional Airbus A380s at its Munich hub from 2020, bringing to seven the total number of Munich-based A380s.

Kerkloh told ATW recently that Lufthansa is also transferring larger-capacity narrowbodies, such as A321s, to Munich to provide more feed, while more Bombardier CRJ900s will fly from Frankfurt. “Munich’s intercontinental network is becoming denser and hub development is crucial,” Kerkloh said.

The number of takeoffs and landings during the 1H increased by almost 3% YOY to around 205,000 aircraft movements.

However, the cargo segment—which is experiencing a slowdown throughout Europe—declined nearly 6% YOY to around 162,000 tons.

Further hub development at Munich also depends on obtaining traffic rights.

“Our route network from Munich must continue organic growth, like to Asia. But we have a difficult time getting necessary traffic rights. This also applies to Africa,” Kerkloh told ATW.

In 2018, Munich reported another record-setting year as total passenger traffic rose 4% to 46.3 million YOY. The number of takeoffs and landings increased 2.2% to more than 413,000.

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at