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Airlines, cargo companies and – not least – passengers value the airport because of its central location in the heart of Europe. The high level of demand has enabled Frankfurt Airport to add more international and intercontinental destinations to its schedule.
A key factor is the airport’s status as an aviation hub. Because of its excellent global connections and the fact that it has capacity to grow, airlines are now offering additional flights to new destinations. After all, half of its passengers are connecting passengers who are getting off one aircraft to continue their journeys on another.
Its status as a hub also makes Frankfurt Airport an attractive freight handling location. Roughly half of the more than two million metric tons of freight we generate in a year is transported in the belly of passenger aircraft. For cargo companies, Frankfurt Airport offers the largest number of connections to take their goods to their destinations in next to no time. That is why Frankfurt Airport ranks among the top locations worldwide for airfreight as well. This is beneficial for the German economy, which is export-driven and therefore needs good connections with other markets. Frankfurt Airport is the largest cargo airport in Europe and one of the top ten in the world.
Having an airport with a large number of global destinations is a powerful argument that attracts businesses to locate to the region. This enhances the Rhine-Main region’s status as one of the most dynamic economic regions in Europe. Having more businesses with a large radius of action in turn increases demand for flight connections to more destinations. After all, these businesses need their workforces to be mobile in order to maximize production. Highly qualified workers – and particularly service providers – thus prefer to arrange their meetings and get-togethers in the proximity of mobility centers like Frankfurt Airport.
This makes the region even more attractive for businesses, which benefit from having no short supply of excellently trained employees to boost their competitiveness. This is a self-reinforcing positive trend – with the international aviation hub at its core – that enhances growth, economic power and prosperity.
Hubs are where passengers from the most diverse cities and countries meet and transfer to the planes that will take them to their intended destinations. They are like connecting points for the aviation industry. Transfer airports like this one, also known as hubs, have come about because in many cases point-to-point air travel – in other words, direct connections between individual destinations – does not pay for airlines, especially on medium- and long-haul routes. The volume of passengers would be too low and the planes would be half-empty.
So the countless direct connections are combined within a star-shaped hub system that connects all the destinations together. The result is a streamlined and efficiently planned network with a central core – just like the hub of a tire. As opposed to having a scenario of direct connections with uncoordinated links between lots of different destinations, this system also allows for a smaller number of aircraft to fly to all destinations via the hub. Hubs like Frankfurt Airport also mainly use larger and more efficient aircraft types – like the Airbus A380 or the Boeing 777 – to service medium- and long-haul routes.