The German state of Rhineland-Palatinate sold its 82.5% stake in Hahn Airport (HHN) to China’s aviation and travel conglomerate HNA Group for €15.1 million.
According to a report in CargoForwarder, the financial transaction has been completed, and the final contract will be signed on 1 March. The fate of the remaining 17.5% stake, currently held by the state of Hesse, has not been announced, but it may go to HNA’s partner in the bid, Germany-based ADC GmbH.
The sale will come as a relief to both the airport and the airlines that use it, because for the last few months it appeared there was a chance HHN might simply be closed. A previous attempt to sell it ended in embarrassing failure when the chosen buyer, Shanghai Yiqian Trading Company, turned out not to have permission from the Chinese government to make the purchase.
Hahn Airport is important to the air freight industry because, unlike nearby Frankfurt International (FRA), it offers 24-hour operation – sometimes critical for freighter operation. At present, Etihad Airways, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Silk Way West, and Yangtze River Airlines all operate freighters at HHN, and HNA has said it plans to add three new weekly freighter frequencies. Since HNA owns Yangtze River Airlines, it seems likely that the new frequencies will involve Yangtze River’s 747-400BDSFs, but that remains to be seen.