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Press article fom  15.02.2006

Ryanair Strengthens its Base in Germany at Hahn

Hahn Airport, February 14, 2006. "No-Frills Airline at Hahn Airport: The first passenger airline with flights to London" – this piece of news on Feb-ruary 11, 1999 marked the beginning of a new era in German air travel. Ryanair was the first so-called low-cost carrier to include a German air-port in its route network. What began with two flights a day to London is now the third-largest hub of the Irish airline in Europe, with 27 destina-tions and more than 30 daily connections. Just in time for its seventh an-niversary, the seventh Boeing 737-800 was stationed at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport – the first of twelve additional machines that are to be stationed here by 2012.

"Expressed in terms of passenger figures, the plans to station the new machines here equals an expected volume of eight million passengers in 2012," underscored the Traffic Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Hans-Artur Bauckhage. The minister showed his delight at the fact that the Irish airline intended to expand its strong position together with the Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. "Ryanair has made a decisive contribution to the more than 8,000 jobs the airport has already generated," explained Bauckhage. Moreover, the further expansion of the hub will enhance the importance of the Frankfurt-Hahn Airport for business and especially tourism in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. "That's why the basic conditions for Hahn, our engine of business growth, are being resolutely improved," emphasized Bauckhage. This is particularly true of the road and rail connections to the airport, the minister said.

The airport's owner and operator also consider it to be significant far beyond the immediate region. "Ryanair was the first low-cost airline to do business in Germany and has triggered a ground-breaking change in the German air traffic market. Although the low-price offer was laughed at initially, now Germany would no longer be the same without it," said Stefano Wulf, CEO of Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH. "In 1998, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport was still at the bottom of the list when it came to German regional airports. It now already ranks eleventh among international commercial airports in Germany," continued Wulf.

Only last November the Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH, in which Fraport AG has a 65-percent majority interest, concluded a new agreement with Ryanair, its primary customer, on the subject of a sizable, successive expansion of the Irish low-cost airline's presence at its Europe hub airport Frankfurt-Hahn. The agreement plans for a gradual increase in the number of Ryanair planes stationed at Hahn from six to eighteen by 2012. In terms of passenger figures, this equals a total volume of eight million air passengers per year expected by Ryanair. "Along with the expansion of Ryanair, we will also successively expand Hahn's capacity, its performance capability, and its landside traffic connections to make it more compatible to business. This growth will enable Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH to reach the goal it already set itself some time ago of achieving positive EBITDA in 2006 and a positive annual net profit in 2008," is Wulf's conviction.

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