A Chinese company is buying Hahn airport near Frankfurt in Germany.
The former military base 120 kilometres from Frankfurt – which is not profitable – has been acquired by Shanghai’s Yiqian Trading Company.
Chairman Yu Tao Chou said the plan was to boost passenger numbers to and from Asia and also increase air freight links from Germany to help meet the growing demand in China for Western products such as meat, which local producers are struggling to keep up with.
“When it comes to freight, we expect good business from the transportation of food products to Asia,” he said.
Unlike Frankfurt, Germany’s largest airport, Hahn has permission for take-offs and landings 24 hours a day, making it useful for freight flights.
The airport is used mainly by budget airline Ryanair, but it has been cutting back on services from Hahn at its flies to more primary airports.
Passenger numbers dropped to 2.7 million last year from almost four million 10 years ago.
The sellers are the German states of Rhineland-Pfaltz which owns 82.5 percent and Hessen with 17.5 percent stake that Yiqian will buy later.