There’s currently a lot of uncertainty in the aviation industry regarding what the future holds. However, when flights do resume, one thing is for certain. Last month Ryanair’s CEO told Simple Flying that the low-cost carrier won’t back out of Frankfurt while many others have.
Ryanair’s route to ‘Frankfurt’ used to mean landing some 125km away in a different federal state at Frankfurt Hahn Airport. However, for the past three years, the Irish low-cost giant has been flying to Frankfurt’s actual airport (FRA) just kilometers away from the city center. While other low-cost carriers are pulling out of Frankfurt, Ryanair appears to be here to stay.
Low-cost carriers at Frankfurt
As one of Europe’s busiest airports Frankfurt was, for a long time, fairly unpopular with low-cost carriers. However, for the last three years, the airport has entertained Ryanair, Wizz Air, and easyJet. This is thanks to a reduction in airport fees.
According to the local publication Hessenschau, Frankfurt Airport “waived 40 to 50 percent of the fees due in the first year for the new low-cost airlines.” The incentives offered would gradually be reduced over the next three years as the routes became established and started making more money.
The loss of discounts is likely why easyJet and Wizz Air have withdrawn from the German aviation capital at a similar time around three years after starting services to the airport. However, Ryanair has no plans to follow suit.
Here to stay
Simple Flying interviewed Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary last month, we talked about a range of things from the COMAC C919 to the Boeing 737 MAX. However, we also discussed the airline’s future at Frankfurt Airport.
When asked about his commitment to Frankfurt Airport, O’Leary told Simple Flying:
“We have no plans to pull-out of Frankfurt. We are in negotiations with the airport about you know, when are they going to deliver the low-cost terminal that has been promised. To be fair they have started building it now, but still haven’t got it delivered yet.”
However, while the airline has no plans to pull out of Frankfurt, the airline also has no plans for expansion in the German city for the time being. However, this is instead down to capacity constraints from the MAX delay as opposed to the delay to Frankfurt’s Terminal 3. O’Leary added:
“we’ve no plans to grow, accelerate our growth in Frankfurt until we can resolve the max delivery dates.”
Of course, with the current situation in the aviation industry, the airline has been left operating ghost flights out of the city’s airport for the time being, with aspirations to resume flights in June.
Are you glad that Ryanair will be sticking around Frankfurt? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!