Press article fom 11.01.2006
Flights ahoy – Successful Air Traffic Results in 2005
Hahn Airport, January 11, 2006. The year 2005 was the Year of the “Hahn” in the true sense of the word. The development of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport was marked by success and advancement. The low-cost airport, in which Fraport AG has a 65-percent majority interest, chalked up a total of 3.1 million passengers in 2005; 12 percent more than in the previous year. Airfreight handling showed an even steeper upward trend: 107,305 tons of flown cargo brought Germany's firmly established, fourth-largest cargo airport a growth rate of 62 percent. A glance at the past seven years shows that Frankfurt-Hahn, recognized throughout Germany as a prime example of a low-cost airport, tripled its net volume of airfreight, while passenger figures even increased twenty times over. With investments and expansion planned for the coming years, the operators of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport are looking forward optimistically to the future. For more information, see: www.hahn-airport.de.
"The figures speak for themselves," says Stefano Wulf, Managing Director of Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH. "Although we did not meet the passenger figures originally forecast (3.5 million), the cargo sector far surpassed our expectations (80,000 tons). The investments and expansion we are planning will give us the best possible positioning for the future," he continued. Roughly 95% of scheduled flights at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport are flown by Ryanair, the Irish pioneer and market leader among cut-rate airlines. In addition, the low-cost airlines Wizz Air and Iceland Express set up shop at the airport in the first half of 2005 and are promising higher growth rates in the long term.
Passenger figures in the past seven years demonstrate how firmly the low-cost phenomenon has become established at Hahn: In 1999, more than 140,000 passengers were handled, today 22 times as many low-cost travelers are making use of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Ryanair started its first flights from the airport nestled in the Hunsrück hills in 1999.
Hahn's operators are continuing to put their faith in a low-cost future. In the next five years, Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH is planning to invest around € 185 million. The key airline customer Ryanair has moreover announced to invest around US$ 1 billion in the expansion of its German European hub at Hahn.
Within this period, Ryanair intends to station 18 aircrafts at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (currently 6), which will then fly more than 50 routes (currently 27), generating a passenger volume of 8 million air passengers per year, as well as enabling additional 8,000 jobs to be created at the airport. Thanks to this enormous investment volume, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport will outflank Dublin in its importance to Ryanair, making it the Irish company's second-largest hub after London-Stansted.
Counting new and existing airlines in the low-cost and charter segment, the airport's operating company is forecasting around 10 million passengers by 2012 and a total of about 10,000 jobs directly at the airport itself.
Air Freight Figures Outstrip Expectations
Growth rates in the cargo sector are enormous, even surpassing the expectations of Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH. Net air cargo chalked up growth of 62 percent (107,305 tons) and 20 percent for total cargo including road feeder service (228,920 tons), results which corroborate Hahn's 24/7 cargo concept. Here too, net cargo volumes in the past 7 years have risen substantially, from a tonnage of not quite 37,000 in 1999 to 3 times that amount today.
From 6 to 91 Flights per Year – with the World's Biggest Antonov AN124
Frankfurt-Hahn Airport was also able to strengthen its position as a pioneer in dispatching the biggest mass-produced cargo aircraft in the world at present, the Antonov AN124. In 2005, alone 91 charter flights involving an Antonov 124 were handled, which means an average of roughly 2 flights per week, and 29 more flights than in 2004. Five years ago in 2000, only six AN124 flights were counted.
The Antonov AN124 was built for both military and civilian purposes. Most of the machines are used for worldwide charter freight transports. The largest civilian operators are Volga Dnepr Airlines (Russia), Antonov Airlines (Ukraine) and Polet Airlines (Russia), all of which make use of Hahn. The aircraft has a four-piece tailboard/ramp at the stern and can also open up the front of its nose thus enabling vehicles to drive into the cargo bay from both the front and the rear. The even larger AN225, a further development of the AN124, has already landed twice at Hahn, in 2002 and 2003.
Further Expansion for Cargo
Steps to expand the second pillar, cargo, also take high priority. Apart from extending the runway, the most important expansion project, which is planned to go into operation by mid-2006, the aprons for wide-bodied cargo planes are constantly being expanded. By about May 2006, two more cargo stands with an additional area of roughly 31,000 sq meters are planned, so that a total of eight remote stands will be available to handle the world's big Antonovs, Boeings, and DC-10s. As early as June 2005, two remote stands, including a new taxiway for the cargo sector, had already been built within a very short period of time.
In addition, the cargo sector is further being developed: Planning for a new access road, "Cargo North", began in the spring of 2005. Once the approval procedure and the bid submissions had been rapidly completed, “Zweckverband Flughafen Hahn”, which is responsible for all landside developments at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, gave the starting signal for construction at the beginning of October 2005. The first phase involves building an access road 330 meters long and 3 feeder roads totaling 265 meters to connect the business premises of cargo handling companies to the apron. Two American aircraft shelters have already been torn down for this purpose. As soon as the weather allows, pipes and wires will be installed, the ground leveled, and approach roads built so that construction can get started on additional freight hangars.
The freight handling companies already located at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, VG Cargo and Fraport Cargo Services/Hahn Cargo Services, are planning to build freight hangars of their own with direct access to the apron. At the present time, these companies are handling cargos landside.
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