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Press article fom  12.08.2004

Current passenger survey at Hahn confirms absolute customer satisfaction

Frankfurt-Hahn, 12th August 2004 – The customers of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport continue to be fully satisfied with the service and numerous offers of Germany's first low-cost airport. This is borne out by the cur-rent survey of 2,113 passengers carried out in June 2004 on behalf of the Airport by the IFAK Institute from Taunusstein.

Global satisfaction
The Airport scores extremely well when it comes to the global satisfaction of the passengers. As in the previous year, around 77 percent of the passengers surveyed were very satisfied overall from the time of their arrival to the time of the survey. Above all, the cleanliness, the security checks, the friendliness of the personnel, the distances and the waiting times at check-in of Germany's first low-cost airport were emphasised as the top criteria. The range of direct flights on offer, the orientation/signing and the atmosphere and arrangement of the shops were positively highlighted. 74 percent of passengers would recommend the airport in the Hunsrück and more than half, 53 percent, would prefer to fly from Frankfurt-Hahn than from other airports.

Booking criteria and costs at Hahn
With 80 percent and 72 percent respectively, the destination and the cost of the flight were named as the most important factors when deciding whether to book. The attractive fare played an important part in the use of low-cost carriers for 91 percent of passengers. But the favourable location of the destination airport was also important for 22 percent of all those surveyed - this applied even more to business travellers (34 percent) who used the low-cost flights from Hahn for this reason. On the other hand, the location of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport was a deciding factor for 16 percent of business travellers. For 84 percent of passengers the journey was made mainly for private reasons, while holidays were the main reason for 54 percent, and 38 percent were visiting acquaintances and relatives. 16 percent of passengers were travelling for business reasons.

The question relating to personal expenditure at the airport showed that 65 percent of passengers had spent or would be spending something. An average figure of just less than 16 euros per passenger was calculated - about four euros more than in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Travel to the airport and catchment area
The Airport also has satisfied passengers when it comes to the range of parking facilities on offer, which in the meantime amount to over 9,200 spaces - this takes into account the level of parking charges. As in the previous year, around 71 percent of passengers travel to Frankfurt-Hahn Air-port by car. At 13 percent, the use of the shuttle bus from all larger towns has increased by two percent compared with the previous year. "This means that our bus network is working well. The more than 72 direct connections every day from all major towns such as Cologne/Bonn, Frankfurt and Mainz are simply more convenient and more attractively priced than, for example, when using the ICE to Cologne", adds Jörg Schumacher, Managing Director of Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH.

Here, for example, eleven percent of passengers who travelled to the airport by bus used the scheduled bus service from Cologne/Bonn - three percent more than in the comparable quarter of the previous year. With eight percent, an increase can now be seen in the number of bus passen-gers starting their journey in Luxembourg - mainly due to the nine direct connections every day to Hahn since April 2004. With 43 percent, the metropolis of Frankfurt is still the primary location when travelling to Hahn by bus. In the whole catchment area for passengers departing from Frankfurt-Hahn, the conurbation of Frankfurt, Mainz and Wiesbaden proved to be the forerunner. Approximately nine percent of passengers came from the greater Cologne area - a figure, which is roughly the same as in the previous year. The catchment area of neighbouring countries to the west such as Belgium, Luxemburg, France and The Netherlands, experienced an increase of just less than three percent to 4.8 percent in the comparable previous year, whereby Luxemburg, with 3.7 percent, is the strongest catchment area.

The main final flight destinations were shown to be, at the top, London-Stansted, Gerona near to Barcelona, Pisa, Milan-Bergamo, Rome-Ciampino and Stockholm-Skavsta. The average travel duration for passengers from Frankfurt-Hahn is eight days.

Incoming passengers to Germany
The IFAK Institute also determined the proportion of incoming travellers to Germany. Here, it was ascertained that there were 332 passengers at the airport who were returning from Germany. The greatest proportion of these with 18 percent were Italians, directly behind these the British with 17 percent, Swedes with 14 percent, Spanish with eight percent and Irish, Finns, French, Norwegians and US-Americans each between three and six percent. With about 80 percent, the main destination for travellers via Frankfurt-Hahn was the Rhine-Main area and bordering regions, with Frankfurt, Mainz and Wiesbaden at the peak. About eight percent of travellers used Frankfurt-Hahn to travel on to Cologne. Most of those surveyed gave a stay of between six and ten days for the duration of their journey; the average was around eight days. Most of these stayed with friends, acquaintances and relatives (46 percent). 42 percent of travellers also made use of the range of hotels and guest houses.

Germany was said to be attractive as a travel destination for those surveyed, particularly due to the wine cultivation, the castles, stately homes and cathedrals, the small and medium-sized historic-romantic towns and the romantic river valleys - in other words, all those factors that make up a traditional holiday picture of Germany.
<7br> The Management of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is very pleased with these results. "The approval of our passengers shows that marble palaces do not count for anything. Top service does not have to be expensive. Every passenger - whether it be the tourist with his rucksack or the business traveller - is king in our low-cost palace", says Andreas Helfer, Managing Director of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is also an ideal and attractive platform for incoming journeys. "Hence we are also contributing to the economy and touristic importance of our country - and, of course, even more so by increased co-operation with the tourist associations around the region".

The IFAK Institute has been carrying out an ongoing passenger survey on behalf of Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH for different time periods since January 2003. In the current survey period from 14th to 27th June 2004 - the first and second wave - a total of 2,113 passengers from the age of 16 were surveyed face-to-face by word of mouth by the IFAK Institut GmbH & Co Markt- und Sozialforschung from Taunusstein on behalf of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to determine passenger structure information and customer satisfaction. The next survey - the third wave - will take place in the middle of August.

The passenger survey at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is part of the DART project ("De-veloping Active Regions and sustainable Tourism") promoted by the European Union within the framework of the EU Community Initiative Interreg-III-B for North West Europe. DART concentrates on the development of tourism in weak structural areas and the expansion of touristic, economic and cultural bonds between the partners. The three regions belonging to this partnership are South Ayrshire in Scotland, the region around Hahn Airport, Hunsrück-Mosel-Nahe and Middle Rhine in Germany, and the North and East of County Cork in Ireland. The main focus of DART consists in the maximisation of advantages, which can grow tourism through the passengers of low-cost airlines - by encouraging passengers to spend time in the partner regions, by developing attractive touristic products, by the use of inno-vative methods and by initiating positive synergy effects through transnational co-operation.

Especially for the passenger survey 2004 and 2005, in agreement with the Rhineland Palatinate Central Tourist Office, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has included a section of questions on incoming traffic within the questionnaire. On the German side, the two administrative districts of Rhine-Hunsrück and Bernkastel-Wittlich as leaders, as well as nine other partners - including Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH - are involved in the project.

Further information on the Institute can be found at www.ifak.de and on the Inter-reg-III-B DART project at www.interreg-dart.com.

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