Fraport raises forecast for Antalya airport as Russians return
FRANKFURT – ReutersFraport has raised its forecast for passenger numbers at Turkey’s Antalya airport this year after a rush of Russian tourists at the start of the summer vacation season, the airport operator’s finance chief said.
“Given the positive trends and very surprising run by the Russians to Antalya in the first six months, we are changing our guidance so that we now see potential of up to 24 million,” Matthias Zieschang told analysts during a conference call after Fraport reported second-quarter financial results.
Fraport had previously expected passenger volume at Antalya, of which it owns half, to rise to 22 million this year from 19 million in 2016.
Tourism, which normally contributes $30 billion to Turkey’s economy annually, was hammered after a series of bombings and after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane over Syria in late 2015, prompting a diplomatic crisis.
Foreign visitors to Turkey rose for the first time in two years this April, data showed this week, with almost half of the increase coming from Russia.
In the first half of 2017, passenger numbers at Antalya jumped around 29 percent to 9.5 million, according to Fraport, as the return of tourists from Russia helped offset a decline in German passengers.
CFO Zieschang affirmed that Fraport hoped to reach break-even at Antalya airport this year.