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Press article fom  15.01.2004

More than 2.4 million passengers - Forecast exceeded

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, 15 January 2004 - 67% more passengers compared with last year - August 2003 busiest month - freight traffic up by 15 percent - front-runner for Antonov flights in Germany - flight movements up by 21 percent

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, the only really low-cost airport in Germany, has closed the year 2003 in style. "We are very proud to report that we have exceeded our forecast of 2.3 million passengers for 2003 by over 130,000 passengers", says Andreas Helfer, Managing Director of Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH. The number of passengers from January to December 2003 was 2,431,783 - this means an increase of 67 percent in comparison with the previous year (2002: 1,457,257 passengers).

Scheduled flights have proved to be the motivator for growth. Ninety-eight percent of passengers travelled mainly with the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair and the Italian low-cost airline Volareweb.com. Package holiday traffic increased by 25 percent compared with the previous year. Package holiday providers at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport include, amongst others, TUI with holidays to Mallorca, Berge & Meer with Turkish packages and FlyCar with package holidays to Arvidsjaur in Swedish Lapland. The busiest month for traffic proved to be the summer month of August with more than 247,000 passengers (by comparison, August 2002: 152,117 passengers).

Since last year, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has been in 10th place amongst the total of 37 German passenger airports - a notable success within ten years. "Our airport serves as an example to many regional airports", says Jörg Schumacher, Managing Director of Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH. "We started in 1993 with nothing and are now well on the way to becoming the leading low-cost airport in Germany", says Jörg Schumacher confidently. The next objective is to push Nuremberg Airport out of the number nine slot. Frankfurt-Hahn is the most successful airport in terms of passenger figures within the Fraport concern, which, with 73.07 percent, is the majority shareholder in the Hunsrück airport.

With the addition of further flights on offer, particularly from Ryanair, which from today has two new destinations from the airport - Finnland-Tampere and Reus in Spain – the managers of the low-cost airport promise even more successful figures. "This year, we are planning to carry 3.6 million passengers", says Helfer. In December 2003, Ryanair, the most successful European low-cost airline, named Frankfurt-Hahn Airport as its second most important hub - after London-Stansted. "This is a further milestone for us in our successful history and proof that our low-cost concept will continue to bear fruit", says Helfer.

Air cargo traffic still on the increase While other airports are reporting low if not negative figures, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport's second means of support - air cargo - has shown an increase of 15 percent. Airfreight transhipment including road feeder services amounted to almost 159,000 tonnes in 2003 - in comparison, this was about 138,000 tonnes in 2002. Almost 37,000 tonnes of pure air cargo were transhipped, which means an increase of 63 percent in comparison with the previous year. "We are building more and more on our air cargo business. We expect 180,000 tonnes of air cargo in 2004", says Jörg Schumacher confidently.

At the same time, Frankfurt-Hahn is also the front-runner in Germany for takeoffs and landings for the world's largest cargo aircraft - the Antonovs 124 and 225. Fifty-one flights were undertaken with an Antonov 124 and one flight with an Antonov 225 from Frankfurt-Hahn in 2003. The busiest month for cargo was November 2003 with almost 17,000 tonnes including road feeder service - this means a 12-percent increase compared with November 2002.

Strong partners such as Russia's eminent airline, Aeroflot, which has strengthened its fleet at Frankfurt-Hahn in the second half of the year, or Royal Jordanian, which has been operating at Hahn since October 2003, and other long-established cargo partners such as Air France Cargo, MNG Airlines, MK Airlines, Egypt Air or Iran Air would contribute enormously to the upsurge of the fourth-largest cargo airport.

With more than 31,000 flight movements in 2003, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has shown an increase of 21 percent (2002: 25,564).

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