From an American military airfield to an international commercial airport: Since its civil aviation commissioning in 1993, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has developed into a major aerospace location. Its business model is firmly rooted on the two major pillars of passenger traffic and air freight. Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is the tenth largest passenger airport in Germany: Every year, up to three million passengers pass through the international airport in Rhineland-Palatinate. In the cargo business, Frankfurt-Hahn achieved a record high in 2011 of more than 286,000 tonnes, bringing it to fifth place in Germany.
The state of Rhineland-Palatinate successfully took advantage of the opportunities that arose since 1990 with the release of several military airfields as part of the conversion programme, and will continue to do so in the future. One highlight of this development occurred on 22 April 1999: On that date, the first passenger plane, operated by the Irish airline Ryanair, landed at a place in Rhineland-Palatinate barely known to anyone at the time. In fact, this historic date ushered in a new era in air travel for the whole of Germany: the era of low-cost carriers. Today, Frankfurt-Hahn is the standard-bearer as the first and most consistently run low-cost airport in Germany.
Efficient and cost-conscious – in all areas
With the establishment of the Irish company Ryanair in April 1999, Frankfurt-Hahn implemented the efficient business model of low-cost airlines at the airport level. In a nutshell, this model embodies: Efficiency and cost minimisation in all areas. In more detail, it means: Efficient operations processes and thus fast check-in, short routes, quick turnaround times and high punctuality rates. The airport in Hunsrück is today Ryanair's largest German site, and other low-cost airlines and charter airlines have also set up operations there. More than fifty attractive holiday destinations throughout Europe and North Africa are now served from Hahn.
Hub in the middle of the "Blue Banana"
At the same time, Frankfurt-Hahn is one of only a few international airports in Germany with unrestricted 24-hour operations. This offers opportunities for growth, especially in the cargo business: Hahn has already been one of the most important freight hubs worldwide for years. More than 90 per cent of Germany's cargo volume is handled by only five airports. One of these is Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. It is located in the middle of one of the most important economic areas of Europe: the so-called "Blue Banana", which extends across Europe from Marseilles via Switzerland, western Germany and Benelux to London. Among other accolades, Hahn has already won the "Air Cargo Award of Excellence" five times since 2006. It primarily reviewed the quality of check-in, price/performance ratio, facilities for air cargo handling and the services of the authorities involved.
Airport location with many advantages
In addition to the night flight permit and the convenient location, the Hunsrück-based airport scores points with other advantages in the international aviation industry: A 3,800 m long airstrip, an instrument landing system that permits safe operations even in bad weather, and good road links to the surrounding economic and population centres all work in favour of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Within a radius of 100 kilometres, some 5.5 million people live, who can easily reach the airport in 90 minutes.
Strong jobs driver for Rhineland-Palatinate
Since January 2009, the state of Rhineland-Palatinate is the majority owner and holds an 82.5 pre cent stake in the company Flughafengesellschaft Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH. The state of Hesse holds the remaining 17.5 per cent. The location is a real driver of jobs: More than 3,000 people are directly employed at the site, and a total of around 11,000 jobs are linked to the presence of the airport.