Frankfurt Airport retail responds to traffic surge

By Charlotte Turner |

A rebound in passenger traffic and business trips in particular has exceeded Frankfurt Airport’s expectations, according to Nina Kristin Gür, Vice President, Retail Key Account Management for Fraport AG, which is pushing retailers and F&B operators into overdrive.

 

Gür also revealed to TRBusiness that fashion brand Moncler is opening a store in the airport’s non-Schengen marketplace ‘sometime in summer’ and the airport is ‘on the list’ of locations for Accessorize’s re-entry into the German market.

 

This interview first appeared in the TRBusiness June/July ezine.

 

However, the opening date, and that of others, will be determined by the availability and delivery of furniture from China.

 

“We are dependent on what’s happening in China as some furniture is stuck there as well as some for existing store refurbishments,” said Gür in an in-depth video interview published inside the June/July ezine.

 

“We have a new electronics store landside…there are only a handful of stores that are currently not open (around 4%) but this is mainly due to construction work.” TRBusiness understands that two new stores are being constructed airside.

 

Watch the exclusive video interview with Nina Kristin Gür below.

 

 

Commenting on the rebound in business travel, Gür said: “Airlines are now adding more business destinations to their network.”

 

While business travel is higher than perhaps was first anticipated the ongoing rise in demand for holiday flights is the driving force behind the traffic surge in 2022, which resulted in the airport recording its strongest monthly traffic figure (May) since the pandemic began.

 

“We are all surprised by how quickly we reached the traffic we are seeing right now,”

“We are all surprised by how quickly we reached the traffic we are seeing right now,” said Nina Kristin Gür, Vice President, Retail Key Account Management for Fraport AG.

During the January-to-June 2022 period, FRA welcomed some 20.8 million passengers, representing an increase of 220.5 percent year-on-year. To put this in context, Frankfurt’s passenger traffic decreased by 38.1% in the first six months of 2022, when compared with the same period in pre-crisis 2019.

 

“We are all surprised by how quickly we reached the traffic we are seeing right now,” said Gür. “In the transit area we are seeing a very nice pick up.

 

“Of course, we are still missing Asian travellers, China specifically, and we also, of course, do notice a lack of Russian and Ukrainian travellers. But the latter does not represent a high percentage of our traffic (3% of total passengers).”

 

In the Schengen area, Gür highlights that traffic is up to 90% of 2019 levels. “So, as you can imagine there are a lot of queues right now.”

 

Gür highlights the Europe-wide challenges that Frankfurt Airport also faces related to staff shortages in all areas of the airport’s operations including retail.

 

She says: “European hubs are suffering from a lack of staff in all areas, and this is also the case for Frankfurt.

 

“A lot of airlines have actively cancelled flights to avoid chaos at the airport… this all affects our retail and F&B business of course.”

 

On the Frankfurt Airport website, the operator warns of longer queues and wait times. “Due to high passenger numbers, passengers must expect longer waiting times and delays at Frankfurt Airport,” it reads.

 

This interview first appeared in the TRBusiness June/July ezine.

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