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.

RyanAir 737-800. Boeing

Source: Boeing

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)

AirportCountry       Flights
 Cirium schedules data
Athens Greece 14
Dublin Ireland 53
Brindisi Italy 8
Milan Italy 31
Catania Italy 14
Krakow Poland 14
Faro Portugal       13
Lanzarote Spain 7
Malaga Spain 14
Alicante Spain 17
Barcelona Spain 22
Fuerteventura Spain 7
Gran Canari Spain 7
Palma de Mallorca Spain 26
Tenerife Reinasofia           Spain 7
Valencia Spain 14
London Stansted        UK 67

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.