Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair is to close its base at Frankfurt Main airport at the end of March, hitting out at increased charges at Germany’s biggest hub.
Ryanair opened a base at Frankfurt and launched a number of leisure routes in the summer of 2017. The German airport, together with Amsterdam Schiphol, is the biggest hub Ryanair serves and was particularly notable given the carrier’s long-standing presence and development at Frankfurt Hahn airport.
The Irish carrier cites the airport’s decision to increase fees, on top of raised passenger taxes in Germany, for the decision to close the base and stop its Frankfurt Main flights.
Ryanair director of commercial Jason McGuinness says: ”We are disappointed to announce the closure of our Frankfurt am Main base at the end of March 2022, but we have no alternative in response to a decision from the airport to increase its fees, despite the collapse in traffic caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
”Efficient operations and competitive airport fees provide the foundation from which Ryanair can deliver long-term traffic growth and increased connectivity for airports and regions. This is impossible at Frankfurt following the German government’s decision to increase its passenger taxes, and the airport’s decision to increase its already high and uncompetitive fees.”
Airport operator Fraport says: ”For 2022, we have adjusted our airport charges for the first time since 2017. As a result, charges were raised by 4%. This increase, however, only serves to counterbalance Germany’s current inflation rate. Other major hubs in Europe have also increased their airport charges, some in the double-digit percentage range. Based on this moderate increase, airlines will be able to continue growing at Frankfurt.”
Ryanair based five aircraft at Frankfurt and Cirium schedules data shows the carrier operating 17 routes this March, predominantly to Mediterranean leisure destinations
Ryanair flights from Frankfurt Main (March 2022)
|Cirium schedules data|
|Palma de Mallorca||Spain||26|
Ryanair has seven bases in Germany, including the two Frankfurt airports, and last month outlined plans to open a new two-aircraft base this summer at Nuremberg.
The airline says all Frankfurt Main-based pilots and crew have been notified of the base closure.