Hahn Sees Light at the End of the Dark Tunnel

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport seems to be getting back on their feet after a longer phase of negative developments. To gain direct and unfiltered impressions, the renowned German Air Cargo Club (ACD) paid Hahn a visit, holding their June meeting on site.

ACD meets Hahn. Standing (l > r): Christoph Papke, Mathias Jakobi, ACD Board members. Hahn exects Markus Bunk and Roger Scheifele  - pictures: Hahn
ACD meets Hahn. Standing (l > r): Christoph Papke, Mathias Jakobi, ACD Board members. Hahn exects Markus Bunk and Roger Scheifele - pictures: Hahn

Following the welcoming of the more than 60 ACD guests, Hahn’s Senior VP Cargo Sales and Business Development, Roger Scheifele presented encouraging freight figures. Since January, cargo throughput has exceeded 40 percent growth, the manager said. During the same time, freighter flights have leaped 30 percent.

The main driver was a twice-weekly operated Boeing 747-400 charter between Hahn and Spartanburg, USA, flying BMW components across the North Atlantic, linking the carmaker’s production sites in Germany and South Carolina.

A second much welcomed Hahn client is Etihad Cargo that services the airport located in southwest Germany two times a week with B777 freighters. While one flight connects Hahn with Abu Dhabi directly, the other runs from East Midlands via Hahn to the UAE’s capital city.

Hahn fire brigade salutes ACD bus after its return from airport roundtrip
Hahn fire brigade salutes ACD bus after its return from airport roundtrip

China traffic expected soon
Scheifele pointed out that up to this point, Chinese carriers haven’t yet contributed to the traffic and volume increase experienced by his airport in recent months. This will change, however, once the EU Commission has given green light for the HNA Group’s intention to acquire an 82.5 percent stake in the airport. It is rumored that their decision will be taken shortly. Once Brussels has consented to the deal, “we expect the launch of both freighter and passenger flights between China and Hahn,” the managers said. As to the cargo flights, Scheifele expects that they will be operated thrice weekly by the HNA subsidiary Yangtze River Express. So far, however, from HNA’s side the future freight carrier’s name has not yet been officially communicated, he told his ACD guests. Although, anything other than Yangtze River would be a major surprise.

Karl Marx becomes a promo figure
The HNA Group has announced plans to invest in the infrastructure and to generate further traffic both in the passenger and cargo sector. The main measure will be the building of a new terminal for travelers because the existing facility is outdated, offering buyers only shopping opportunities located on the landside of the building. By enabling passengers to purchase items after they went through securities, “revenues generated at our airport will go up,” noted Scheifele.
Another trigger for attracting Chinese passengers is Karl Marx, who was born near to Hahn in Trier. “In May of next year, we celebrate his 200th birthday. On that occasion we expect many Chinese visitors to come here,” reasons the manager.
The ACD visit ended with a bus tour across the airport area, including a baptizing ceremony initiated by the local fire brigade that gave the vehicle a water shower.

Heiner Siegmund

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