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German state wants Fraport stake in Hahn – report

  The German state of Rhineland-Palatinate wants to buy Fraport’s stake in Hahn airport to keep budget airline Ryanair from scaling back flights there, German broadcaster SWR reported on Monday.

SWR gave no sources for its report. State officials were unavailable for immediate comment. Ryanair has threatened to reduce the number of flights to Hahn in response to an extra €3 per passenger fee Fraport was planning to charge. The company has said it will hold a news conference on Tuesday.

Shares in airport operator Fraport were down 3.4% by 1505 GMT, underperforming German mid-cap stocks. Traders attributed the decline to several media reports that the company may have to close Hahn. A Fraport spokesman said the company was waiting to see how Ryanair and Rhineland-Palatinate proceeded before taking any decisions, and it would enter into open-ended talks with all players. He added that Fraport did not want to exit Hahn, but the airport must become economically sustainable.

Fraport holds a 65% stake in Hahn -- not Frankfurt’s main airport but a remote former US military airfield converted to civilian use after the end of the Cold War. The German states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate each hold a 17.5% stake. (Reuters)