Lufthansa puts focus on Montenegro


Lufthansa is considering expanding its presence in Montenegro following talks with the country's airport operator in Podgorica, the second to take place in months, with new routes to both the Montenegrin capital, as well as Tivat in play. Bernhard Wodl, the Lufthansa Group Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia, met with the General Manager of Airports of Montenegro, Danilo Orlandić, where the two discussed growth opportunities and the continuation of their ongoing partnership. Mr Wodl noted, "This meeting was a good opportunity to discuss potential new routes. We talked about the possibility of deepening our existing cooperation". Mr Orlandić added, "These talks were a good indication that there is enough room to develop new routes. Airports of Montenegro are prepared for all kinds of cooperation because the German market is extremely important for our tourism industry. Furthermore, German airports have excellent worldwide connectivity, so the launch of new routes to this market is vital for our public".

Year round Lufthansa flights from Frankfurt and Munich to Tivat, as well as Austrian Airlines services from Vienna to Tivat, are being negotiated. Furthermore, Eurowings is expected to introduce services to the Montenegrin capital this year after adding its first seasonal flights to the country, from Dusseldorf to Tivat, in 2017. The Lufthansa Group member has said it is considering boosting frequencies on its Tivat route and launching flights to Podgorica. The Montenegrin capital was featured in the airline's public vote last October to select its newest destination, which was ultimately won by Mostar. In addition, another member of the Lufthansa Group - Brussels Airlines - will commence a one weekly service from the Belgian capital to Tivat on May 9. "Expanding the destination network is one of the priorities at Airports of Montenegro. Lufthansa, as one of the most important carriers in Europe and the world, should be our partner in this process. Currently, Austrian Airlines maintains services between Podgorica and Vienna, and I hope that Lufthansa will launch new European routes to Montenegro as early as this year", Mr Orlandić said.

Following on from a record 2017, Montenegro's main airport has continued to post strong results this year too. In February, Podgorica welcomed 55.002 passengers, representing an increase of 17.7% on the same month last year. During January and February, Podgorica Airport handled 114.863 travellers, up 17.8%.

Month
PAX
Change (%)
JAN59.861 17.8
FEB55.002 17.7

Over in Tivat, the airport registered 16.534 passengers in February, an increase of 15.6%. This year, the airport welcomed 36.379 travellers through its doors, up 25.5%, while the number of aircraft movements increased 14%. Serbia remains the biggest country market from Montenegro, with 54.436 passengers handled to and from Belgrade so far in 2018, followed by 19.235 from Moscow and 11.448 travellers from Istanbul.

Month
PAX
Change (%)
JAN19.845 35.1
FEB16.534 15.6

The head of the Montenegrin airport operator noted, "There is strong interest from major global airlines this year that were not directly present on the market in the past, such as Lufthansa. We are already at a point where both of our airports will be operating at full capacity from May until the end of October. For example, TUIfly alone, which is entering the Montenegrin market this year, is expected to handle some 90.000 passengers on its flights to Podgorica". Airports of Montenegro has also held talks with Vueling where new services between Barcelona and Podgorica were discussed.

Comments

  1. Could Lufthansa mainline really work year round from FRA and MUC to TIV like it is suggested and Austrian from Vienna? Eurowings to Podgorica I think is reasonable.

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    1. Well if it can from Belgrade why not from Tivat. They could easily fill an A319 on a dialy basis.

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    2. Hahaha, really, Anon 9:04? In Tivat? Hardly!

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    3. You are comparing a costal town with a capital city?

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    4. Luštica Bay is lobbying a lot for these flights and they are prepared to pay as well, just like hotels are paying easy jet to fly to Tivat or Porto Montenegro is helping Flydubai with Tivat route. Luštica even held direct talks with Lufthansa. I read it a day or two ago.

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    5. It is logical that a capital city will have much more passengers than a small seaside town.

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    6. They wouldn't be talking about these routes if they thought it wouldn't work. But the comparison to BEG is just dumb.

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    7. The talks were initiated by Montenegro, not LH, so who knows what's gonna happen.

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    8. Fingers crossed.

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  2. Sarajevo Airport wake up! Watch and learn.

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    1. True. I'm surprised that a city the size of Podgorica overtook Sarakevo in the number of passengers served.

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    2. And it started just in the last few years.

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    3. Well you can't sit and wait in the hope of airlines coming to you. Especially on small markets. Montenegro understood that. Sarajevo not yet.

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    4. Podgorica has one major advantage over Sarajevo and that is that it has guaranteed at least 350,000 passengers each year from flights to/from Belgrade.

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  3. Its about time we get more flights out of Europe to this beautiful corner of the former YU

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    1. Agree. It's great to see the likes of LOT, Flydubai and Aegen starting flights in the last year.

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  4. Why has Lufthansa mainline ignored Montenegro, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Kosovo until now?

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    1. They are smaller markets. They did fly to Skopje a long time ago.

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    2. Adria covers Pristina and Ljubljana for them well.

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    3. Has LH started flying to Albania yet?

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    4. Yes, they fly from Frankfurt. Eurowings also flies seasonally.

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    5. because OS is also part of the LH group and it operates all these markets.
      Lufthansa group airlines have joint marketing and sales activities, and OS is so to say post holder for Balkan within LH group.

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    6. True but OS has been sleeping for a while in the market. No new routes and no major frequency upgrades while the competition is launching more and more flights and opening new routes in the region.

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    7. Last time they wanted to do more in the Balkans and ex-yu in particular was with Swiss. We all now how tgat endes.

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    8. I agree. LH Group is cautious because of that.

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    9. If they want to expand they should really use Eurowings. It has the greatest chance of success.

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    10. Yeah as we've seen in Sarajevo and Skopje where they cancelled sales just after 2 weeks, or in Mostar where they have halved capacity.

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    11. Lufthansa expressed some interest to fly to Pristina in 2010 and their representatives visited PRN but in the end nothing came of it.

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  5. Something is cooking between LH and Montenegro.

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    1. Would be nice if they announced that LH is taking over Montenegro Airlines :D

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    2. Yeah, over JP and OU with a bigger market, better fleet, more passengers and much more to offer. Sure.

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    3. Why would it buy two airlines that do everything LH says and are so loyal to LH? Also I'm not so sure that LH is not behind 4k.

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    4. The way Lufthansa is going buying up airlines I would not be surprised. I just hope it doesen't come back to bite them like it did Etihad.

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    5. "Why would it buy two airlines that do everything LH says and are so loyal to LH? Also I'm not so sure that LH is not behind 4k."

      Yes, unlike Montenegro airlines, a truly independent company.

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    6. Well it certainly isn't controlled by Lufthansa.

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    7. Let's not start with the Lufthansa being behind 4k nonsense.

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  6. LH Group has literally invaded Hrvatsko too, so I am not surprised about Montenegro. After all, the country has so much potential and this year will be big for it.

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    1. LH Group and Star Alliance are trying to get everywhere.Fewvyears ago they tried to completely take over nirthern Italy but failed. But Croatia won't defend itself unless OU becomes stronger and more independent from LH.

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  7. Congratulations Podgorica and Tivat. Those are amazing results.

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    1. It is like Podgorica was in a comma for years and just woke up. Great development

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    2. They both handled over 1 million last year. Tivat might get up to 1.4-1.5 this year.

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  8. This is bad news for JU.

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    1. I think it is first catastrophic news for Montenegro Airlines more than anyone else. JU will always rely on point to point passengers between Montenegro and Serbia before anything else.

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    2. Not to mention that JU uses the highly economical Atr most of the times while charging expensive tickets for locals.

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    3. Exactly. Look at those number of passengers between SRB and MNE in first two months mentioned in second last paragraph. It's mostly P2P.

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    4. You can also say it is bad news for Adria which will have 11 weekly flights to Podgorica this summer and 90% of passengers on these flights are transfers.

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    5. Bad news for Turkish as well which relies a lot on transfers from Western Europe to Montenegro.

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    6. @anon 10:24am
      People really use TK from Western Europe to Montenegro? You have any more info on that?

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    7. Yes, a lot of people do. They have great published fares from TGD to west european cities. The 11,448 passengers from Istanbul to Podgorica these first two months did not all travel just to Istanbul and far away destinations (tourism flow in these months from Turkey to Montenegro is low). But a lot of people still use TK to get to Dubai, despite the Flydubai route.

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    8. Bad news for everyone :D

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    9. Bad news for Qantas :(

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    10. And just when they were about to break out onto the Montenegrin market :(

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  9. The new Lufthansa livery is so ugly. Still I would like to see their planes in Montenegro :)

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    1. I like it.

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    2. The tail is too dark and looks black from many angles so now they are changing it to make it lighter. Miss the yellow though.

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  10. Great news for the country.

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  11. They expect an extra 90,000 passengers in Podgorica just from TUI this year! That's great and shows how important the deal is. Hope we see Lufthansa next winter.

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    1. Vueling tol. But I doubt before 2019 summer.

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    2. Pobeda should also start flights to Podgorica this summer.

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  12. I would really like to see more of Lufthansa mainline in the region.

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    1. Well there is more and more of them in Croatia.

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    2. Ex-Yu is a very cost sensitive market. There is a greater chance of seeing Eurowings more in the region (which we already are to some extent).

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  13. What about Swiss? I'm surprised they don't fly to TGD.

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    1. They did through Edelweiss when Swiss started that disastrous EX-Yu expansion which failed miserably. Podgorica was discontinued along with all the other routes.

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    2. Swiss couldn't make it work almost anywhere in ex-Yu. Exceptions are Serbia and Kosovo.

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  14. Despite being small there is a market in Montengero. Had they opened the market up earlier, Podgorica could have be reaching well over one million passengers by now. Instead they were protecting MGX which was falsifying its business results at the time.

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    1. At least they have opened up the market. That's most important now and effects are visible.

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  15. Montenegro's market will continue growing as the tourism industry does. Montenegro could do so much more with its tourism if it had the right infrastructure in place.

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    1. Things are slowly improving on the infrastructure front. Same with the airports. Five years ago it was unthinkable that there would be so many airlines flying to Podgorica and Tivat including real LCCs.

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    2. They realized that the only way tourism can develop is by improving air connectivity which meant enforcing the EU free sky agreement.

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    3. Actually a lot has been invested in tourism related infrastructure in the last few years. That's why there are more and more tourists as well as more airlines.

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  16. Looking at those numbers I'm surprised by the number of passengers from Turkey. There are just double daily flights from Turkish to Podgorica.

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  17. There is also new EW service from STR to TIV

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  18. This is fantastic news for Podgorica and Tivat. I don't know what's happening but the airports have seen so many new airlines announce flights this year and last.

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    1. It is because of growing demand

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    2. I never doubted Tivat and I did not expect Podgorica to be doing so well.

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    3. There is still a lot of untapped tourism potential in Montenegro so I think over time we will see more and more airlines start flights.

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  19. Wizz and Ryanair already flying to Podgorica. Eurowings next up. Excellent news for the airport and passengers.

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  20. Star Alliance is starting to build a nice presence in Podgorica - Turkish, Austrian, Adria, Aegean and LOT. Now we could see Eurowings or even Lufthansa too.

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    Replies
    1. Still a few missing in my opinion - Swiss, SAS and Brussels Airlines.

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    2. Brussels Airlines will start flying to Tivat.

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    3. I know. I read it in the article. I'm talking about Podgorica.

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    4. Brussels Airlines would never have added Tivat (and Ohrid for that matter) if it hadn't taken over Thomas Cook which used to fly these routes last year.

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    5. Your logic is flawed. They could have just suspended these routes if they didn't want to fly them. They weren't obliged to keep these flights after they bought Thomas Cook, especially since this happened before the sale of summer packages for 2018 began.

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    6. OU is missing

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  21. I'm just glad the Montenegrin government has finally woken up and liberlised its skies.

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  22. This Orlandic guy the new CEO of Airport Montenegro after 20 years seems to be doing a good job. Very proactive guy.

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  23. Podgorica and Tivat will become a nightmare operating at full capacity. They already were last summer. Why haven't they started expanding the terminal in Tivat?

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    1. Agree 100%. They didn't want to take the EBRD loan to expand Tivat and are now thinking about giving the airport up for concession. But they have been thinking about it for almost a year.

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    2. The airport has proposed building some makeshift terminal to deal with passenger numbers this summer.

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    3. One of the major issues is Tivat. It can't grow anymore during the summer because it is operating at full capacity. An expansion is badly needed. Makeshift containers won't work.

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  24. Wizz should consider more German routes from Podgorica and beat Lufthansa to it. Currently their onlt German route is Memmingen.

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    1. It would be great if they started Vienna too.

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  25. Hoping for more routes from Eurowings and more frequencies on DUS-TIV line.

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  26. Passenger growth is impressive for two relatively small airports during the winter. Congrats CG.

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  27. Which German cities does Montenegro fly to?

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    1. From Podgorica to Frankfurt and from Tivat they are starting Leipzig and Munich this year.

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    2. Thanks. Germany is obviously a growing market. Enough space for LH and YM.

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  28. Exciting times are ahead for aviation in Montenegro, which will develop even more when the airports are given to a concessionaire.

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  29. Excellent. There will be more options for passengers to fly to Europe and beyond.

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  30. Speaking of Eurowings and the Lufthansa Group in general, there is an interesting development today.

    Eurowings (EW, Dusseldorf) is mulling entering into partnerships with other low-cost carriers in order to offer its passengers more travel options, Chief Commercial Officer Oliver Wagners has been quoted as saying by Reuters.

    He added that the carrier is looking at cooperation with both short-haul LCCs which could feed Eurowings' long-haul network, as well as with carriers offering long-haul flights which could, in turn, be supported by Eurowings' European flights.

    The move would follow similar steps taken by other European LCCs, affecting mostly transatlantic services. Last year, easyJet signed partnerships with Norwegian, WestJet, Loganair, Corsair International, Neos, Aurigny Air Services, and La Compagnie, allowing travel on a single itinerary mostly via London Gatwick, Milan Malpensa, and Paris Orly.

    For its part, Ryanair entered into a similar agreement with Air Europa last year, providing connecting travel through Madrid Barajas. Recently, the Irish LCC also announced it will offer a similar option with Aer Lingus through Dublin Int'l.

    Wagner did not disclose any potential partners nor any timelines.

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  31. Congrats Montenegro!

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  32. Small Montenegro quietly growing. People finally looking for a new and mostly undiscovered destination on the coast.

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    Replies
    1. lol undiscovered

      new arrivals are freaking out how populated the beaches are

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  33. Montenegro Airlines is getting more and more competition on routes. Now they will probably have to compete on key German routes with LH or EQ. Adria is also attacking them on the LJU route. They really need to plan smartly and quickly.

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  34. I just hope Montenegro doesn't end up like BEG with way too many flights to Germany and then you wonder how those seats will be filled continuously. But hey, TGD is a capital city and deserves all the best.
    Btw, LJU figures are out I hope admin posts them tomorrow - Feb 99 213 +10,2% increase and 929 cargo which is 11,3% increase. FRA airport is growing like crazy too.

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