Berlin, Jan 23 : The total passenger numbers at German airports in December 2020 dropped by 87.9 per cent year-on-year to 2.03 million, according to authorities.

In a statement on Friday, the German Airports Association (ADV) said that despite a small number of bookings for flights to a few tourist destinations, the industry's "faint hopes of a slight recovery in demand during the Christmas vacations were not fulfilled", reports Xinhua news agency.

The ongoing tighter Covid-19 lockdown in Germany starting in mid-December 2020 and calls from the government to refrain from unnecessary travel during the year-end holidays weighed on already low demand, according to the ADV.

Travel bans to the UK and South Africa due to the newly discovered coronavirus strains "further slowed down a possible recovery".

In contrast, air cargo continued its positive trend as the volume of freight and airmail handled at German airports in December rose by 13 per cent to 449,000 tonnes, according to the ADV.

The main reasons were the stabilising trade flows and the Christmas business, notably in online trade.

The ADV expects the trend to continue at the beginning of this year, although the economic situation of airports in Germany would remain "critical and tense".

The growth trend in air cargo, on the other hand, is considered an early indicator of a recovering economy.

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