While we're on the subject of air travel:
Fraport, the listed operator of Frankfurt Airport, is eager to start the construction of a new runway. The legal battle isn't over yet, but they are already in the process of clearing the forest ahead of schedule.
According to their Q1 financial report, they will invest 7 bn € into the new runway and a new terminal building.
No idea why they are in such a hurry:
Passenger throughput is down sharply: -9.2 % yoy in the year to April. Long-haul routes are down even more, with North American routes losing 14 % and Far Eastern routes losing 13 %.
However, the FTD reports that Fraport is worried about competition in the Gulf (I suppose that means Dubai), and needs to provide more capacity once travel volumes start booming again (expected from mid-2010 onwards). Going forward, Fraport expects travel volumes to increase at 4 % annually, in line with long-term historic averages.
Roland Koch called the beginning of construction activity a "historic day", and was happy that the "next generation" will get "a chance to compete internationally".
I cannot understand why so much money is being spent on infrastructure that will not be needed. It is absolutely impossible that German air traffic will see high growth-rates during the next few decades. Not enough people, not enough economic growth, and not enough kerosene.