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Ryanair may take stake in Germany’s Hahn airport

  Budget airline Ryanair said on Tuesday it may take a minority stake in Germany’s Hahn airport, after Fraport announced it was in talks with the state of Rhineland-Palatinate to sell its 65% majority stake.

 

Deputy CEO Michael Cawley said that while airport holdings was not part of the company’s core business, “we would think about it”. German airport operator Fraport said earlier on Tuesday it was holding talks with the Rhineland-Palatinate government about a takeover of its stake in Hahn, after the state prevented it from introducing an extra passenger fee it deemed necessary to render the airport economically viable.

Fraport, also owner of Germany’s largest airport in Frankfurt, had planned to introduce an extra fee of €3 per passenger in Hahn, prompting Ryanair to threaten to scale back flights there. Ryanair said on Tuesday it would not go ahead with its threat, as the regional state of Rhineland-Palatinate, which holds a 17.5% stake in Hahn, was committed to fending off the planned fees in order to keep Ryanair planes based there.

Fraport had wanted to steer Hahn -- a former US military airfield about 100 kilometers west of Frankfurt -- towards profitability by 2010. Shares in Fraport were down 3.1% at €28.89 by 1220 GMT, underperforming German mid-cap stocks while shares in Ryanair were up 2.5%. (Reuters)