The future of Hahn Airport remains open. In yesterday's (07FEB23) meeting of creditors, no decision was made on the sale to the Russian investor Victor Charitonin.
Since the plans became known, politicians and also most of the media have reacted very critically to the intended takeover of the airport by the Russian tycoon, said to belong to Putin’s
In addition to Charitonin, a second investor had submitted an offer to insolvency administrator, Jan Markus Plathner, to purchase the airport.
A final decision on the future of the airport is now expected to be made next month.
Under state observation
In the meantime, the controversial and delicate Hahn topic has reached the highest political level. Economics Minister, Robert Habeck (Green party), confirmed to media that his office is “currently thoroughly screening Hahn proposals.” He said this is routinely done in case critical infrastructure could potentially be affected and end up in hands that are not in Germany's interest. The question is whether the sale would endanger public safety and order, and thus also national interests. If a threat is identified, the sale of Hahn would have to be prohibited, Habeck said. “But it is too early to comment now on a process that is still ongoing.”
Objections to the sale to the oligarch have also been expressed by the governments and political oppositions of the federal states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. Hahn is located in the latter.
Creditors are against a deal with an oligarch
This does not mean that Russian investor, Viktor Charitonin, is completely out of the game. He must now hope that Habeck's ministry has no objections to the deal.
However, observers believe that in the face of mounting political pressure, the chances of Charitonin acquiring the airport are fading away. This all the more so as creditors remained reserved at the Monday’s meeting concerning the eventual takeover of the airport by the Russian tycoon. It is therefore not very likely that their opinion will change by the time a final decision is made. Especially since mounting public criticism puts increasing pressure on the government to call off any deal with a Putin pal.
However, the airport's works council is frustrated with the still unclear situation of the airport. Since the insolvency of the former owner, the Chinese HNA Group in 2021, the question of ownership has remained unresolved. “In this respect, it would be time to come to terms and solve this issue once and for all,” says Georg Wohlleben, the legal representative of the works council.
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