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Press article fom  14.02.2002

"Ryanair has a soft spot for Frankfurt-Hahn"

Frankfurt-Hahn, February 14, 2002. Today Ryanair opened its second base in mainland Europe and, simultaneously, the first "turnstile" in Germany. The airline noted for its low-cost flights is now flying daily, in some cases several times, from Frankfurt-Hahn to a total of ten destinations in England, France, Italy, Ireland, Norway and Scotland. "Air traffic is undergoing radical changes. Ryanair has recognized the sign of the times and is offering cheap flights for all. Ryanair has since become the largest and most successful low-cost carrier in Europe. Frankfurt-Hahn has established itself as the leading low-cost airport in Germany and, together with Ryanair, will continue its success story in seamless fashion." This is the view of Jörg Schumacher, general manager of Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH.

Ryanair's first scheduled service to Germany was set up in April 1999. Ultimately, there were three flights daily operating between London-Stansted and Frankfurt-Hahn, one flight a day from Glasgow-Prestwick and another from Shannon to Hahn. In 2001 Ryanair transported some 400,000 passengers on these routes.

"This year we are anticipating an increase in the number of passengers to 1.2 million. The passenger terminal is being extended by an area of roughly 4,200 square metres, i.e. by more than double. This extension will considerably improve the comfort and service provided for the individual passenger," managing director Andreas Helfer explains.

"In spring, some 600 square metres of concession space will become available to us, much of which is already rented out." Travel offices, car hire facilities, restaurant, bistro, hairdressing salon, various retail outlets and a visitors' terrace will increase the attractiveness of the check-in building.

The transport links to the airport are also being constantly extended, especially the local public transport system. Besides the non-stop shuttle to Frankfurt with ten daily connections and the regional line to Bingen, there is now an express bus, which operates 10 times a day between Mainz and the airport. In addition, there are several daily connections to the tourist attractions of the region, such as Bernkastel-Kues, Traben-Trarbach, Kirn, Idar-Oberstein and Frankfurt-Hahn itself.

Around 100 new jobs have been created in the context of setting up the Ryanair hub at Frankfurt-Hahn airport. These include Ryanair flight attendants, check-in personnel, security staff, and fuel-service personnel. A total of approx. 1,700 people are now employed at the Frankfurt-Hahn site. This corresponds to an increase of 5.5 percent on the last figures recorded for October 2001.

Only recently did the shareholders of Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH, Fraport AG and the State of Rheinland-Palatinate decide to increase the equity capital of the airport company from 3.5 million to 30.5 million euros. The money is being diverted into the further development of the airport, among other things the expansion of the passenger terminal and the lengthening of the take-off and landing strip. Fraport AG will retain 73.07 percent and the State of Rheinland-Palatinate 26.93 percent of the shares.

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