Lufthansa has threatened to reduce its operations at its main hub in Frankfurt as a protest at the German Ministry of Economic Affairs’ recent decision to okay the airport’s new fee structure.
In November, Fraport AG, the airfield’s operator, said the move was part of a new strategy aimed at attracting more low-cost traffic to Germany’s largest airport.
Eager to protect its turf, Lufthansa has protested since the announcement, because it says these changes will penalize existing operators through an increase on take-off and landing charges by 1.9%.
“From Lufthansa’s point of view, this rule represents an additional discriminatory factor as they will be particularly affected by this increase in fees at the site of their own headquarters,” it said. “Lufthansa is examining all of their options in view of this decision.”
Further to that, Harry Hohmeister, Lufthansa Group’s Chief Officer of Hub Management, this week warned Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int’l) receiving a long term 50% discount from Fraport would put even more pressure on Lufthansa’s already delicate European route network.
He also warned that Lufthansa may be forced to relinquish certain routes if Fraport insists on enforcing its fee structure. Should that occur, the carrier may consider legal action, he told the German Press Agency.