Cargo stabilises at a very high level at Cologne Bonn Airport

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2022 is over – and Cologne Bonn Airport can look back on positive business developments. The number of passengers rose to 8.8 million, which is more than twice as many in comparison to 2021, and cargo volumes of more than 971,000 tonnes were once again at almost one million tonnes. The last year was a difficult one for the whole aviation sector, but it also showed that people want to travel more again and that cargo will continue to play a central role in supply.  

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“The numbers are highly pleasing and we anticipate a further rise in passenger traffic in 2023,” said Thilo Schmid, President and CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH. “In 2022, the extremely rapid rise in passenger traffic after a still weak first quarter caused many operational challenges in the entire aviation system, including at Cologne Bonn. In 2023 the sector now has to score points for reliability. We and all of our partners at the site are working hand in hand for this.”

Passenger numbers in the last year were much higher than during the crisis: in total, 8.8 million passengers took off from or landed at Cologne Bonn in 2022. That is just under a third fewer than in 2019 before the pandemic, but more than twice as many as in 2021 (+ 106%; 2021: 4.3 million passengers). For the first time since October 2019, we welcomed more than a million passengers in a month again – and we did so three times: in July, August and September. The positive development is mainly due to holiday traffic. The passenger volumes to tourist destination surpassed the level of 2019 by six per cent. Flights to Spain and Turkey were in particular demand in 2022.  

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Cargo figures were also pleasing for the airport. In spite of worldwide crises, such as the war in Ukraine and rising inflation, they stabilised at a high level. In total, more than 971,000 tonnes of cargo were handled at Cologne Bonn in 2022. This means that, just like in the previous year, the airport was within touching distance of the one million tonne threshold (2021: 986,000 tonnes). 

For 2023 the airport assumes that the number of passengers will rise and more than 9 million passengers will be welcomed at Cologne Bonn. In the cargo sector, the airport intends to maintain the very good level of the two previous years.