Irish ULCC Ryanair will close its Frankfurt (FRA) base on March 31, saying it will relocate five aircraft from FRA to airports that have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by lowering their charges.
Ryanair established its FRA base in March 2017, originally starting with four routes and growing to serving nearly 20 destinations. But the discounted airport charges that lured Ryanair in the first place have steadily increased.
Ryanair said FRA has become less competitive with other European airports, citing a 4.3% rise in charges for 2022.
“We are disappointed to announce the closure of our Frankfurt base at the end of March 2022,” Ryanair commercial director Jason McGuinness said. “But we have no alternative in response to a decision from the airport to increase its airport fees, despite the collapse in traffic caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Ryanair said it continues to invest in Germany, pointing to its aircraft base at Nuremberg (NUE).
“Efficient operations and competitive airport fees provide the foundation from which Ryanair can deliver long-term traffic growth and increased connectivity for airports and regions,” McGuinness said.
In addition to the higher FRA charges, McGuinness said the German government’s passenger taxes are also rising.
Ryanair said all flight crew based at FRA will be offered alternative positions within the Ryanair network.