Frankfurt–Hahn Airport

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Frankfurt–Hahn Airport

Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn
Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn logo.svg
Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn, Terminal-0296.jpg
Airport typePublic
OperatorFlughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH
LocationLautzenhausen, Germany
Focus city forRyanair
Elevation AMSL1,649 ft / 503 m
Coordinates49°56′54″N 007°15′51″E / 49.94833°N 7.26417°E / 49.94833; 7.26417Coordinates: 49°56′54″N 007°15′51″E / 49.94833°N 7.26417°E / 49.94833; 7.26417
HHN is located in Rhineland-Palatinate
Location of airport in Rhineland-Palatinate
HHN is located in Germany
HHN (Germany)
HHN is located in Europe
HHN (Europe)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
03/21 12,467 3,800 Asphalt
Statistics (2019)
PassengersDecrease 1.400.000[1]

Frankfurt–Hahn Airport (German: Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn, IATA: HHN, ICAO: EDFH) is an international airport in the municipality of Hahn, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

The airport is 10 km (6.2 mi) from the town of Kirchberg and 20 km (12 mi) from both Simmern and Traben-Trarbach. The airport is equidistant between Frankfurt and Luxembourg – about 120 km (75 mi) to each city by road. The closest major cities are Koblenz at about 70 km (43 mi) and Mainz at about 90 km (56 mi). The airport served 1.4 million passengers in 2019, down from 2.60 million in 2016.[1][2] The only airlines that operate commercial passenger service to/from the airport are Ryanair and Wizzair, both of which are low-cost carriers. It is also a prominent cargo airport as a result of its location and 24-hour operating licence.[3] It had a turnover of 156,000 tons of cargo in 2019.[1]

The airport is 82.5% owned by HNA Group, a Fortune Global 500 company based in China and 17.5% owned by the state of Hesse. The airport is not profitable and the European Commission has agreed to allow Rhineland-Palatinate to cover up to €25.3 million of losses between 2017 and 2021 while HNA makes improvements to the airport.[4]


Military base[edit]

During the Cold War, at which time an invasion of West Germany was a possibility, Hahn Air Base was a frontline air base, and home of the United States Air Force 50th Tactical Fighter Wing (now the 50th Space Wing), in various designations, as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE). It was one of several USAFE bases in Germany within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of each other including Zweibrücken, Ramstein Air Base, Sembach, Bitburg Air Base, Spangdahlem Air Base, and Rhein-Main Air Base. These air bases were well situated to reach all locations within Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. Hahn Air Base had more than 13,000 people and three squadrons of F-16 tactical fighters. At the end of the Cold War, the United States was left with a huge excess capacity of expensive airfields in Europe.

As a result, the squadrons at the base were inactivated: the 496th Tactical Fighter Squadron was inactivated on 15 May 1991, the 313th Tactical Fighter Squadron was inactivated on 1 July 1991, and the 10th Tactical Fighter Squadron was inactivated on 30 September 1991. The 50th Tactical Fighter Wing was inactivated on 30 September 1991 and then activated as the 50th Space Wing at Falcon AFB (now Schriever Air Force Base) in Colorado on 30 January 1992. The inactivations had a significant effect on the local economy.[5]

Most of Hahn Air Base was returned to civil German authorities on 30 September 1993, though USAFE retained a small portion as a radio communications site until its final return to German authorities in 2012. It is still frequently used for military charters operated by, amongst others, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.

The German government decided to turn Hahn Air Base into a civil airport with the goal of reducing traffic to Frankfurt International Airport. One of the main investors in the development of the airport was Fraport AG, the operator of Frankfurt International Airport, which received a 65% ownership stake in the airport.

In 1996, the faculty and police training school of the Rheinland-Pfalz State Police were combined at a new joint facility located at the air base's former housing area.

Name controversy[edit]

In 2001, Ryanair began flying to the airport, using it as a second base for its European operations.[6] At the request of Ryanair, the name of the airport was officially changed from Hahn Airport to Frankfurt–Hahn Airport. Lufthansa began legal proceedings against Ryanair in 2002, claiming the usage of "Frankfurt" in the name to be false advertising. Ryanair was allowed to keep the name but was forced to clarify in its advertising that the airport is actually 120 kilometers (75 miles) by road from Frankfurt.[7]

Losses and ownership transfers[edit]

In 2003, the airport reported a loss of €17 million, compared to €20 million in 2002.[8]

In 2007, Etihad Cargo switched its German freighter services from Frankfurt International airport to Frankfurt-Hahn airport.[9]

Effective 1 January 2009, Fraport sold its 65% interest in the airport to the government of Rhineland-Palatinate for the symbolic price of €1. The airport had been losing money and Fraport did not want to continue to fund losses. The transaction increased the stake owned by the government to 82.5%.[10] Also in 2009, a cargo flight departing from Hahn using the Antonov 225 made the world record for the heaviest single piece of air cargo, a 189.98 tonne generator for a Fossil-fuel power station in Armenia.[11]

In 2013, Etihad Cargo, a major customer of the airport, announced the relocation of its cargo operations from Hahn to Frankfurt Airport.[12]

In January 2014, the airport announced it had accumulated debts of €125 million while passenger and cargo traffic were decreasing.[13] The same year, the government pledged €80 million to the airport so that it would avoid bankruptcy.[14] In February 2014, security staff at the airport initiated a strike action.[15] In the summer of 2014, Ryanair reduced capacity on several routes for and removed 3 of 9 aircraft based at the airport.[16]

In March 2015, Yangtze River Express, the largest freight customer of the airport with 4 cargo destinations and accounting for 50,000 of the airport's 130,000 tons of annual volume, announced it would cease its cargo operations at Frankfurt–Hahn Airport in favor of Munich Airport.[17] Months earlier, Qatar Airways and Aeroflot had also ceased their cargo operations at the airport.[18]

In June 2016, the cargo subsidiary of Air France-KLM announced it would shut down its cargo reloading point at the airport, which was used to collect freight and transfer it to Paris by truck.[19] In August 2016, RAF-Avia from Latvia announced basing two aircraft at the airport to operate ad-hoc charter flights.[20] Also in June 2016, the government of Rhineland-Palatinate announced the sale of its 82.5% interest in the airport to Shanghai Yiqian Trading Company.[21] However, the deal fell apart a month later after the buyer failed to get approval to make the payment.[22]

In 2017, Suparna, formerly known as Yangtze River Express, began operating a 747-400F at the airport and AirBridgeCargo and Etihad also expanded cargo operations.[23] In August 2017, HNA Group, a Fortune Global 500 company based in China acquired the 82.5% stake in the airport owned by the government of Rhineland-Palatinate for €15.1 million.[24][25] In conjunction with the acquisition, the European Commission agreed to cover up to €25.3 million of losses between 2017 and 2021 while HNA makes improvements to the airport.[4]

In February 2018, Ryanair announced the shift of part of its operations from Hahn to Frankfurt Airport, where it opened a base in 2017. One of five aircraft were moved to Frankfurt Airport and four routes were cut at Frankfurt-Hahn.[26] A year later, Ryanair announced further major cuts with a reduction to just 16 routes - from over 40 in earlier years - for the 2019/2020 winter season.[27] In July 2020, Ryanair announced plans to close their Hahn base by November 2020 after a labour union dispute. Hahn has been Ryanair's second base in continental Europe, inaugurated in 2002.[28] However, as of September 2020, no final decision has been made.

The airport filed for bankruptcy on 19 October 2021.[29]



The airport consists of two passenger terminals and one cargo terminal. The passenger terminals, designated A and B, include shops and restaurants including a McDonald's.[30] The apron has 11 stands for mid-sized aircraft, such as the Boeing 737, which are reached on foot. The cargo apron has 3 stands for large aircraft such as the Boeing 747-8F.


Frankfurt–Hahn has a long runway of 3,800 metres (12,467 ft) in the direction of 03/21. This, combined with a large apron, allows it to handle some of the world's biggest aircraft such as the Antonov An-124 or the Boeing Dreamlifter. While the Antonov is a frequent visitor, the Dreamlifter landed only twice at the airport, both times in 2010. It has an Instrument Landing System available to both sides, with runway 21 being category 3 approved; low visibility conditions are a frequent problem at the airport, especially during autumn and winter.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Hahn:[31]

Air Serbia Niš
FlyOne Chisinau
Ryanair Alicante (begins 3 April 2022),[32] Agadir, Banja Luka, Barcelona (begins 3 April 2022),[33] Bari, Bergamo (begins 3 April 2022),[34] Catania (begins 3 April 2022),[35] Dublin (begins 1 April 2022),[36] Faro (begins 3 April 2022),[37] Fez, Kerry, Kyiv–Boryspil, Lamezia Terme, London–Stansted (resumes 1 April 2022),[38] Marrakesh, Nador, Naples (ends 24 March 2022), Palermo, Pescara, Porto, Riga (ends 25 March 2022), Rome–Ciampino, Seville, Thessaloniki, Treviso, Vilnius, Zagreb
Seasonal: Cagliari, Chania, Corfu (begins 3 June 2022),[39] Girona, Ibiza, Mykonos, Palma de Mallorca, Ponta Delgada, Santiago de Compostela, Tenerife–South, Trapani (resumes 29 March 2022),[40] Zadar (begins 1 April 2022)[41]
Wizz Air Belgrade, Cluj-Napoca, Sarajevo, Sibiu, Skopje, Sofia, Timișoara, Tirana, Tuzla, Varna


Silk Way West Airlines[42] Baku, Vienna
Suparna Airlines[43][44] Wuxi, Xi'an

The airport is also used by further cargo carriers on an irregular basis, e. g. for ad-hoc charter or military operations.[45]


Check-in area
Apron in front of the passenger terminal
Control tower
Overview of the cargo apron

Annual passenger traffic at HHN airport. See source Wikidata query.
2004 2,751,585
2005 Increase 3,076,823
2006 Increase 3,704,633
2007 Increase 4,014,898
2008 Decrease 3,940,159
2009 Decrease 3,793,710
2010 Decrease 3,493,451
2011 Decrease 2,894,109
2012 Decrease 2,790,961
2013 Decrease 2,667,402
2014 Decrease 2,447,140
2015 Increase 2,667,000
2016 Decrease 2,609,156
2017 Decrease 2,472,198
2018 Decrease 2,092,868
2019 Decrease 1,496,362[1]

Ground transportation[edit]


Hahn is served by several, mostly private, coach operators that run regular services to Frankfurt am Main (105 minutes, via Frankfurt Airport, Terminal 2), Cologne (135 minutes), Luxembourg (105 minutes) and several other cities in western Germany and the region.


The airport has no railway station. The nearest train station is in Traben-Trarbach (20 kilometers by road, 10 kilometers as the crow flies), the terminus of the Pünderich–Traben-Trarbach railway. The nearest long-distance railway stations are Bullay (15 kilometers northwest, on the Koblenz–Trier–Saarbrücken line), and Idar-Oberstein (26 kilometers south) on the Mainz–Bad Kreuznach–Saarbrücken line. Frequent buses also run to the main railway station of nearby cities, the closest being Mainz (70 minutes, 60 km or 37 mi to the east) and Koblenz (65 minutes, 50 kilometers northeast). Frankfurt–Hahn Airport is almost equidistant from Frankfurt and Luxembourg.


The nearest Autobahn connections are approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the west (A1) or east (A 61). Parking and car rental are available at the airport.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d [1] (German) 14 April 2020
  2. ^ a b c "FrankfurtHahn Airport: Traffic Data". Frankfurt–Hahn Airport.
  3. ^ South China Morning Post: "HNA to buy majority stake in Hahn airport in Germany – If deal goes ahead, it will help take the owner of Hainan Airlines take a step closer to becoming one of the world’s top 100 companies" by Sandy Li 6 March 2017
  4. ^ a b "State aid: Commission approves public support to Frankfurt-Hahn airport" (Press release). European Commission. 31 July 2017.
  5. ^ Siegert, Alice (2 July 1992). "Cold War's End Chills Small German Towns". Chicago Tribune.
  6. ^ Prada, Paulo (22 November 2001). "Ryanair to Use Frankfurt's Hahn Airport As Its Second Base on the Continent". The Wall Street Journal.(subscription required)
  7. ^ Scally, Derek (20 March 2002). "Court rules Ryanair misled customers". The Irish Times.
  8. ^ Creaton, Siobhan (26 March 2004). "Ryanair flies to rescue of Frankfurt-Hahn airport". The Irish Times.
  9. ^ "ETIHAD CRYSTAL CARGO SWITCHES TO FRANKFURT-HAHN" (Press release). Frankfurt–Hahn Airport. 27 April 2007.
  10. ^ Barnard, Bruce (3 February 2009). "Fraport Sells Germany's Hahn Airport". The Journal of Commerce.
  11. ^ "FrankfurtHahn Airport sets world record in air freight" (Press release). Frankfurt–Hahn Airport. 12 August 2009.
  12. ^ "Umzug nach Frankfurt/Main – Etihad Cargo verlässt Frankfurt-Hahn". 16 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Frankfurt-Hahn vor dem Aus?".
  14. ^ "Germany questions use of regional airports". Deutsche Welle. 6 April 2013.
  15. ^ Reeg, Caitlan (19 February 2014). "Security Staff Strike at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport". The Wall Street Journal.(subscription required)
  16. ^ "Ryanair streicht Angebot am Hahn weiter zusammen". 15 January 2014.
  17. ^ "Größter Frachtkunde am Flughafen Hahn zieht sich zurück".
  18. ^ "Rheinland-Pfalz will Flughafen Hahn weiterhin verkaufen". 18 March 2015.
  19. ^ "Air France KLM Cargo Verlaesst Hahn". (in German). 4 July 2016.
  20. ^ "RAF Avia adds freighter to Hahn operation". Air Cargo News. 2 September 2016.
  21. ^ Maushagen, Peter (6 June 2016). "Chinese buy Germany's Hahn airport for tourists, freight". Reuters.
  22. ^ Bellon, Tina (6 July 2016). "Sale of Germany's Hahn airport to Chinese firm close to collapse". Reuters.
  23. ^ Lennane, Alex (5 September 2017). "Frankfurt-Hahn gets back on track with new services". The Load Star.
  24. ^ Weinland, Don (10 August 2017). "HNA buys German airport despite pressure on debt". Financial Times.
  25. ^ Taylor, Ian (10 August 2017). "China's HNA takes over Frankfurt Hahn". Travel Weekly.
  26. ^ "Ryanair moves routes from Frankfurt-Hahn to Frankfurt am Main". Aviator. 24 February 2018.
  27. ^ 2 May 2019
  28. ^ 22 July 2020
  29. ^ "Ryanair hub Frankfurt-Hahn Airport files for bankruptcy". Deutsche Welle. 19 October 2021
  30. ^ "FrankfurtHahn Airport: Restaurants". Frankfurt–Hahn Airport.
  31. ^ – Destinations retrieved 3 October 2020
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ - Schedule retrieved 1 November 2021
  43. ^ - Neue Frachtflüge von China zum Flughafen Hahn (German) 25 June 2018
  44. ^ - Suparna adds new B747 Xi’an-Hahn flight 29 August 2017
  45. ^ - Airlines on site retrieved 3 November 2019
  46. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport at Wikimedia Commons