Frankfurt Hahn Airport Reveals Insolvency

A local German court has ruled that the Frankfurt Hahn Airport is insolvent. The airport’s position was first reported by the German language publication Wirtschaftswoche. An administrator has been appointed to see whether it is possible to rectify the airport’s situation.

Frankfurt Hahn Airport, HNA Group, Insolvent
Frankfurt Hahn Airport has revealed that it is insolvent. Photo: Getty Images

Despite being named after the German city of Frankfurt, Frankfurt Hahn isn’t the most convenient airport for travelers to Mainhattan. The airport sits to the west of the city, almost two hours away by car, and in another federal state entirely. Once a sprawling Ryanair monopoly, the airport has suffered since the LCC got in at Frankfurt’s main airport.

Hahn is insolvent

Frankfurt Hahn Airport is insolvent, according to the German language publication Wirtschaftswoche. The local court in Bad Kreuznach published documents confirming this earlier today. These confirm that the airport has entered a period of administration being handled by law firm Brinkmann & Partner.

The airport is located in the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. However, its ownership isn’t located in the state today. According to local Frankfurt radio station FFH, the airport was converted from a US military base by the state, which later sold it. Today, 82.5% of the airport is held by the Chinese HNA Group. In January 2021, Simple Flying reported that the HNA Group was bankrupt. The remaining 17.5% is owned by Rhineland-Palatinate’s neighboring state, Hessen, which also contains the city of Frankfurt.

Frankfurt Hahn Airport, HNA Group, Insolvent
Frankfurt Hahn used to be a vast Ryanair stronghold. Photo: Getty Images

Dwindling passenger flights

Over the past 15 years, the number of scheduled flights using Frankfurt Hahn Airport has been steadily declining, even without the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to aviation data expert Cirium, some 28,756 flights were scheduled to the airport in 2007, roughly 79 a day.

By 2019 this had fallen 70% to 8,590 flights in 2019. Things have been even worse in the past couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has primarily been due to the steady withdrawal of European LCC giant Ryanair. The Irish LCC was responsible for 97% of passenger flights in 2007, which had fallen to 82% of flights by 2019.

Frankfurt Hahn Airport, HNA Group, Insolvent
Ryanair’s withdrawal has led to a collapse in passenger flights. Data: Cirium

Frankfurt Hahn has always been one of the airports in Ryanair’s network notorious for being nowhere near the city it was serving. At the time, Ryanair couldn’t fly to Frankfurt for a rate that it considered affordable. The airline began to serve the city directly in 2017, directly leading to a considerable reduction in services in recent years.

Freight traffic had been increasing

While the number of passenger flights using the airport has been declining with Ryanair’s withdrawal, freight operators at the facility have been on the rise. In 2006, 3,479 freight operations were scheduled for Hahn, according to Cirium’s data. This increased by over 800% reaching a peak of 31,745 flights in 2018.

Frankfurt Hahn Airport, HNA Group, Insolvent
Freight operations at the airport have increased significantly in recent years. Data: Cirium

Simple Flying has contacted representatives of Frankfurt Hahn Airport for comment.

Have you flown from Frankfurt Hahn Airport? What do you make of this news? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!