Low cost carrier Ryanair will be opening a base on Frankfurt am Main Airport in 2017. Starting in March 2017 the Irish low cost carrier will be stationing 2 Boeing 737-800 aircraft on Germany’s busiest airport.
Ryanair goes head to head with Lufthansa
With the move Ryanair goes head-to-head with Luftansa, which uses Frankfurt Airport as its primary hub. Lufthansa and their partners account for little over 75% of the traffic on Frankfurt Airport. Ryanair aims to carry 400,000 passengers in its first year on Frankfurt Airport, which is only minor in comparison to the 47 million passengers that Luftansa and their partners carry.
The move can be seen as surprising, since Michael O’Leary, CEO of Rynair, said it would never operate from Frankfurt Airport citing high costs and operated from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport instead.
The move towards Frankfurt Airport, however, does also fit Ryanair’s strategy where it is adding primary airports to its network to appeal to business travelers. Additionally, since the Brexit vote the carrier has to look for new growth areas outside the UK. Germany, which has seen Air Berlin getting dismantled to some extent is a market where the Irish low-cost carrier can grow.