Max Conrady to quit Fraport; picks his new job outside aviation

Conrady joined Fraport AG in September 2005 and was promoted to lead Frankfurt Airport's cargo business in November 2018.

Max Conrady to quit Fraport; picks his new job outside aviation
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Max Conrady, the current cargo head of Frankfurt Airport, is set to leave Fraport AG by the end of September this year. Conrady leaves Fraport AG, the operator of Frankfurt Airport, among others, after 19 years. He has chosen a new job outside of the aviation industry.

"I am venturing out of aviation. My next role will be within the field of public transport. I will join the Regionaltangente West Planning Company Ltd. (RTW GmbH). This company is tasked with the design, construction, and operation of the 'Regionaltangente West,' a new regional urban rail link on behalf of its shareholders within the Rhine-Main area," Conrady said in a message to The STAT Trade Times. "I will join RTW as part of the management team," he added.

Conrady's current contract with Fraport AG is till the end of September this year. However, he said he could leave earlier subject to negotiations with his current employer. He is expected to join the new company "as soon as possible".

Conrady joined Fraport AG in September 2005 as the project manager in Frankfurt Airport's airport expansion programme department. Before being appointed as the head of cargo at Frankfurt Airport in November 2018, Conrady held key roles in terminal management, environmental impact, noise and air quality responsibilities.

"After nearly two decades of service with Fraport, I've come to the decision that it's time for a new challenge. My tenure here has been immensely fulfilling, but I believe that growth and learning often come from change and new experiences. I'm keen to apply the skills and insights I've gained in the aviation industry to a different sector, and I look forward to the opportunities that this change in direction will present," Conrady said when he was asked about his decision to leave Fraport and the choice of a role outside of the aviation industry.

Max Conrady speaking at the 2019 edition of Flower and Perishable Logistics Africa conferences in Nairobi.

Conrady considers the modernisation of cargo operations at Frankfurt Airport as the key highlight of his five-year role as the cargo head. "We've successfully navigated the challenges of digital transformation and enhanced our digital as well as physical infrastructure to accommodate the latest generation of freighter aircraft."

"Perhaps the other biggest highlight for me was steering our team through the unprecedented demand in combination with continuous changes, especially in the regulative framework for air cargo services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic." He credits the air cargo community in Frankfurt for its ability to adapt to the ever-changing challenges in cargo operations, maintaining the service quality and supporting the global supply chain. "This was nothing short of remarkable. It makes me proud to be able to make my modest contribution in these exceptional times and to be a part of this great community," he said.

"What we do is vital. It connects the markets and people around the world. Be proud of what you do every day. You don't need the appreciation of others," Conrady said.

Frankfurt Airport continues to be the leading cargo airport in Europe and a key hub for cargo movement from the east to the west and west to the east. For the fiscal 2023, Frankfurt Airport handled just over 1.9 million tonnes of cargo, a 3.9 percent decline from the previous year. However, cargo volumes recorded strong growth, rising by 10.7 per cent to 171,501 metric tonnes in April 2024.

Fraport AG recently launched a new master plan and a comprehensive investment package for cargo development at Frankfurt Airport. The airport operator is strategically aligning its Frankfurt CargoHub with forecast growth in the air cargo business. Driven by growing global trade, the air cargo industry is expected to further expand over the medium and long term both globally and within Europe. Fraport believes that its cargo hub in Frankfurt is expected to follow this overall market trend, with airfreight volumes in Frankfurt forecast to exceed three million metric tonnes by 2040.

Fraport AG has not made any announcement so far for Conrady's replacement. With a strong demand forecast and planned investments into cargo infrastructure developments, Fraport AG certainly needs a seasoned air cargo professional to lead the cargo business at Frankfurt Airport.

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