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Press article fom  22.04.2004

Right to the day, on Frankfurt-Hahn's fifth birthday,

Since 1999 a strong German Market presence – now 19 bookable destinations from Frankfurt-Hahn – fifth birthday not the only reason for celebration: since 1985 a total of 80 million passengers have flown with Ryanair – special celebratory offer with 800,000 free tickets - bookable only until midnight 29th April 2004 at www.ryanair.com


London-Stansted / Frankfurt-Hahn, 22nd April 2004: Ryanair, the Irish low-fares airline, now has two good reasons to celebrate in Germany: Exactly five years ago, the far-ranging Irish company's first flight landed and took off from the Huns-rück airport Frankfurt-Hahn - and today, after almost 20 years in the skies, Ryanair was proud to welcome its 80 millionth passenger – and at Frankfurt-Hahn.
<7br> Let’s take a short trip down memory lane - on the 22nd of April 1999, Ryanair took off for England from Frankfurt-Hahn for the first time – a total of 215 passengers were on these maiden flights between London and the Hunsrück airport. Destination number two, Hamburg-Lübeck, followed in June of 2000. February of 2002 saw the opening of the hub at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, with first three, then five of the type 800 next-generation Boeing 737 aircraft based here. Passengers can now fly to 19 international destinations in eight European countries from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Six more airports now host Ryanair's 30 daily take-offs and landings in Germany: Friedrichshafen (since April 2002), Berlin-Schönefeld, Altenburg-Nobitz and Niederrhein (May 2003), Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (Septem-ber 2003) and Erfurt (January 2004). At the beginning of March this year, yet an-other milestone was set with the number of passengers taking off and landing in Germany reaching 7 million.

Commenting on Ryanair's fifth birthday, Andreas Helfer, Managing Director of the Frankfurt-Hahn Airport Company (Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH) and 'land-lord' of the Ryanair German hub said, “The 22nd of April 1999 is the key date for the low-fares airline ticket market in Germany. 5 years ago to the day, as the first German low-cost airport, we hit the bull’s-eye together with Ryanair when we introduced unexpected but extremely positive changes to the German air transportation market.

The numbers are the proof of our success: in 2003 we registered over 2.4 million passengers – 67% more than in the previous year - and in the first quarter alone, we had almost 580,000 - this year our target is 3.6 million. Roughly 98% of our passengers from all over Germany fly on low-cost scheduled flights from Frank-furt-Hahn.

With Ryanair, we have firmly established ourselves as an engine for the economy, service and employment sectors - and the future's looking bright. Frankfurt-Hahn Airport would not have achieved so much in the passenger sector without the Irish airline company – within ten years, we have become the tenth largest German commercial airport.”

Caroline Baldwin, Sales Manager for Ryanair from the beginning and as such also responsible for the German-language market's constant development said, “Ryanair has blazed a trail in Europe, opening up low-fares flights in 16 countries Europe-wide. After humble beginnings in 1985 and 20 years in the business, Ryanair is now low-fares airline number 1 among the European airlines - we carried 23 million passengers on around 150 routes last year alone - and five years of this success story has been co-authored by Frankfurt-Hahn!

It makes us even more proud that a further chapter in the Ryanair success story has now been written in the Hunsrück - because today we actually welcomed the 80 millionth Ryanair passenger here at Hahn. So there are two reasons for us to be pleased with ourselves - and to celebrate. Our current, Europe-wide, sales offer of 800,000 free tickets shows clearly how grateful we are to our customers for their trust and their loyalty; and we're giving away these bargain fares during an attractive travel period, namely in May and June. Passengers only have to pay taxes and fees - and this applies to 23 of the 31 routes on offer from Germany, including not only all the German-Stansted flights, but also Hahn destinations like Bologna, Gothenburg, Jerez and Stockholm. Our policy for the future is to focus completely on maintaining our position as the number 1 for low fares, the highest standard of punctuality and the best customer service - and we'll be cutting our average prices even more.”

To celebrate the occasion, Ryanair is offering free fares (only taxes and fees to pay) on its website at www.ryanair.com. You can book one (or more) of the 800,000 available seats until midnight on the 29th of April 2004. Flights are available during the period 7th May - 30th June (booking 14 days in advance). Specific booking conditions apply.

Ryanair is Europe's leading low-price airline and the fastest-growing airline company in Germany. Since 1999, Ryanair has been a three –time winner of the prestigious award for the 'Best Managed National Airline" in the world. At present, 147 routes to 84 destinations in 16 countries are available, flown by a fleet of 74 Boeings. In Germany Ryanair flies routes from Frankfurt-Hahn, Hamburg-Lübeck, Friedrichshafen, Airport Niederrhein (formerly Weeze-Laarbruch), Altenburg-Nobitz, Berlin-Schönefeld, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden and Erfurt. The Frankfurt-Hahn hub is home to five aircraft (currently flying to 19 destinations). In Austria, Ryanair has been represented since January 2004 at Salzburg, Graz, Klagenfurt and Linz airports. The company is listed on the London and Dublin stock exchanges and on the NASDAQ. Ryanair has its own website and its online-booking service at www.ryanair.com is extremely popular with passengers from all over Europe.

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