HNA-owned airport Frankfurt Hahn files for insolvency

Vytautas Kielaitis /

Frankfurt Hahn Airport (HHN), a German airport predominantly used by low-cost carrier Ryanair, has filed for insolvency, becoming a casualty of the bankruptcy of China’s HNA Group. 

Despite its name, HHN is 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Frankfurt. The airport, a former military base, was taken over by HNA in 2017, when the group acquired an 82.5 % stake from the local government. The remaining stake is owned by the local government in the neighboring federal state of Hessen.

Since the HNA takeover, HHN has focused on expanding its cargo operations and has carried over 170,000 tonnes of cargo in 2019. Passenger numbers stood at 1.5 million in 2019. The airport once boasted 4 million passengers a year but was affected pre-pandemic by Ryanair switching some flights to the larger airport in Frankfurt am Main (FRA) .

The insolvency was disclosed by a court in Bad Kreuznach on October 18, 2021, which announced that Brinkmann & Partner had been appointed as administrators.  

Airport managing director Christoph Goetzmann told German news agency dpa that operations were continuing for now and that he would fight to ensure the airport kept operating. 

HNA applied for bankruptcy and reorganisation in January 2021 after racking up debts following a big acquisition spree. It acquired several aviation companies in Europe, including Swissport and Gategroup. Swissport changed ownership in August 2020, while HNA sold Gategroup in March 2019.


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