Frankfurt Airport joined London Heathrow among major European hubs slashing flights to try and ease delays and cancellations just as the peak of summer air travel is about to begin.

In a notification to airlines by operator Fraport on Friday, Frankfurt will reduce the number of aircraft movements — a takeoff or landing is considered one movement — to 88 an hour from 96 beginning the week of July 18. The reduction is expected to remain in place through at least August, and follows an earlier cut from 106 movements in June.


Jens Ritter, the CEO of Lufthansa Airline, the largest carrier in Frankfurt, on Friday called the reductions “right” in an otherwise muted statement about the poor state of operations at the airport.

“In recent weeks, we have already cancelled flights in several waves to relieve the overall system,” he said. “Since the already increased capacities of the ground handling services in Frankfurt are still not sufficient due to a high sickness absence rate, even for the flight schedule that has already been reduced several times, the decision taken by Fraport today is right.”

Ritter added that, since Lufthansa has already cancelled thousands of flights through the end of the summer, other airlines “will now also contribute to an even reduction and stabilization with flight cancellations.”

The cap is likely to raise an outcry at some other airlines. Following a new cap on passenger numbers at London’s Heathrow airport, Emirates called the cap “entirely unreasonable and unacceptable,” and said it would not implement them.

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