Hahn Airport continues to be in the headlines of many German newspapers as the local government strives to find a suitable replacement owner after the debacle involving the Chinese SYT Group.
RAF Avia is new cargo customer
The cargo business at Hahn has lost much ground during the past twelve months with one carrier after another departing from the airport for various reasons.
This has not helped Hahn’s image or has not convinced potential investors as to the viability of investing in or taking over the airport.
A small break was given to the cargo department last week after RAF Avia, a freight carrier based in Riga, Latvia, announced that they would station two of their Antonov AN-26 freighters at Hahn Airport and operate charter flights from there.
One aircraft was already temporarily based at Hahn and is said to have been operating regular cargo flights.
The second aircraft has been relocated to Hahn from Germany’s Cochstedt Airport in the German state of Magdeburg. This airport, run by Danish investors recently filed for insolvency.
Not a Boeing 747 freighter, but every little bit helps maybe.
RAF Avia which was founded way back in 1990 has a fleet of five AN-26 freighters along with two Saab 340 cargo aircraft.
The two aircraft now based at Hahn Airport are expected to operate flights within Europe, mainly for the German car industry.
Hahn still has a long way to go before it can reach the 140,000 tons or so which were handled in past years.
Cargo tonnage in 2015 had already dropped to 80,000 tons.
Political factions still fighting about who is at fault for sale debacle
After the Chinese investor SYT failed to come up with the agreed sale price, there was a new tender issued by the local government.
This tender ended on 31 August and the airport claims that there have been quite some interested parties.
Information supplied is presently being vetted by KPMG along with an independent economic company lead by Mr Martin Jonas.
It is expected that a short list, which will surely include previous applicants such as the Chinese HNA Group, will be completed.
It is not an easy task as the battle as to who is at fault for the delay continues between the various political parties in the Rhineland-Palatinate region.
It was also revealed in the press last week that both KPMG and the local government are blaming each other for the mess. KPMG claims that it advised the Rheinland-Palatinate government that the process should have been stopped or slowed down and the government minister claims that KPMG went out on its own in negotiations without involving them when it was necessary.
Spilt milk! Better they get their act together and come up with a viable solution.
In the meantime, Ryanair, still the largest customer in Hahn, has also announced that it will start passenger services from nearby Luxembourg Airport as of the 2016/2017 winter flight plan.
Hahn Airport recently announced that the number of passenger destinations served from the airport will drop to 40 from the present 50 during the winter.
It can only be hoped that the cargo department can lure some larger freighter operator to the airport.
Otherwise, things look pretty grim.
John Mc Donagh