NetJets Europe agrees to buy German airport

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NetJets Europe has signed an agreement to acquire Egelsbach airport, near Frankfurt in Germany. The move marks the fractional ownership provider's first foray into airport acquisition and forms part of the company's strategy to widen it share of the German market where it has already begun to strengthen its sales team.

Egelsbach is essential for NetJets in helping to improve access to the German banking capital, as well as the economically important Rhein/Main region, which is "under represented" in the NetJets network compared with other German bases, says NetJets chief executive Bill Kelly.

He says slot scarcity at the main airport - where NetJets says around two-thirds of requests for slots are turned down if submitted one day before - played an important role in the decision to acquire the airport.

Kelly says NetJets will invest in the airport's infrastructure, with plans to renew the apron and runway, install an instrument landing system and extend the runway by several hundred metres.

Annual movements are capped at 100,000 and a nightly curfew between 21:00 and 07:00 will be imposed, says NetJets. The agreement is subject to approval by the city of Egelsbach, which is scheduled in March.