Ryanair’s Frankfurt Hahn base shrinking gradually; average weekly frequency of routes plummets 60% since 2003

Having identified with Frankfurt since 1999, maybe Ryanair could reverse its declines at Hahn by becoming Luxembourg West?

Having identified with Frankfurt since 1999, maybe Ryanair could reverse its declines at Hahn by becoming Luxembourg East?

Ryanair made Hahn Airport (around 120 kilometres from both Frankfurt and Luxembourg) a base in February 2002 with the launch of eight new routes, but it had been serving the airport from London Stansted since April 1999, and Shannon since May 2000. As of this summer, anna.aero estimates that Ryanair has served a total of 81 destinations from Hahn, but never more than 54 at any one time.

Source: anna.aero European LCC history database

Source: anna.aero European LCC history database

As just about the only scheduled carrier at the airport (Wizz Air currently offers flights to Budapest, Katowice and Sofia), Ryanair’s passenger numbers at the airport are close to the airport’s total. These peaked at just under four million in 2007, falling less than 1% in 2008. However, in 2009 traffic fell by 3.7% and then a further 7.9% in 2010. In the first half of 2011, passenger numbers have fallen by a further 11.8% to just under 1.4 million. Despite this, Ryanair has started three new routes this summer, all to Greece (Chania, Rhodes and Thessaloniki), as part of its current network of 49 destinations served this summer.

Average route frequency has fallen by over 60%

A notable feature of the airline’s development at the airport has been the trend in average weekly frequency across all routes. Back in the summer of 2003, Ryanair operated around 25 daily flights across 16 destinations resulting in an average of 11 weekly flights on each route. This summer, it is operating around 29 daily flights, but spread across 49 destinations, resulting in each route having an average of just 4.1 flights per week.

Source: Derived from anna.aero European LCC history database

Source: Derived from anna.aero European LCC history database

A similar rapid decline in average route frequencies can be seen if just the winter seasons are examined.

49 routes this summer, just 31 in winter?

Only eight of the airline’s 49 routes are served at least daily, with London Stansted being the only destination served with at least two daily flights.

Weekly frequency Destination
16 London Stansted (STN)
12 Palma de Mallorca (PMI)
9 Porto (OPO)
8 Girona (GRO)
7 Alghero (AHO), Milan Bergamo (BGY), Pisa (PSA), Rome Ciampino (CIA)
6 Malaga (AGP)
5 Faro (FAO), Tampere (TMP), Venice (VCE)
4 Alicante (ALC), Dublin (DUB), Edinburgh (EDI), Kerry (KIR), Madrid (MAD), Marrakech (RAK), Montpellier (MPL), Pescara (PSR), Reus (REU), Valencia (VLC)
3 Bari (BRI), Bologna (BLQ), Fez (FEZ), Kaunas (KUN), Kos (KGS), Oslo Torp (TRF), Riga (RIX), Rzeszow (RZE), Santander (SDR), Santiago de Compostela (SCQ), Stockholm Skavsta (NYO), Tenerife Sur (TFS)
2 Cagliari (CAG), Chania (CHQ), Fuerteventura (FUE), Gran Canaria (LPA), Ibiza (IBZ), Jerez (XRY), Lanzarote (ACE), Osijek (OSI), Pula (PUY), Rhodes (RHO), Rimini (RMI), Thessaloniki (SKG), Trapani (TPS), Volos (VOL), Zadar (ZAD)
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 14 July 2011

The 49 routes serve airports in 15 different countries. Spain (15) and Italy (11) are the leading country markets by destinations served. In terms of weekly departures, the leading country markets are also Spain (61) and Italy (49) followed by the UK (20), Portugal (14) and Greece (11).

Domestic flights to Berlin Schönefeld and Hamburg Lübeck began in 2008. The Hamburg flights lasted just three seasons while the Berlin route was axed at the beginning of this year once the German government’s €8 ‘eco-tax’ was introduced. The tax is also having an effect on the airline’s winter network which according to German press reports will comprise just 31 routes this winter, down from over 40 in the corresponding period last year.


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