Zurück zur Übersicht


FCS Gives Hahn Airport the Cold Shoulder

Deteriorating volumes, no new business on the horizon - Rhine-Main`s ground handling unit Fraport Cargo Services (FCS) at Hahn airport has decided to terminate all activities and leave the site for good

Manager Egon Mueller of the Hahn FCS branch confirms: "we intend closing our doors either in summer or latest at the end of this year." The reason he states is the lack of economic prospects for his company after the loss of their former main customer, Air Cargo Germany. This came about in April 2013 when ACG ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy. Further, Mueller mentioned the general decline in air freight volumes at Hahn due to the exit of numerous carriers, among them Aeroflot Cargo, Qatar, and Etihad Cargo.

This negative trend was adversely reflected in the declining volumes at Hahn, handled by FCS. Last year business reached absolute rock-bottom, with only 9,000 tons being processed at the agent`s warehouse. This accounts for less than two percent of Fraport`s Cargo Services entire yearly throughput," said speaker Joerg Machacek of the airport operator. "Therefore, we decided to concentrate the handling activities and focus on our core biz at Frankfurt airport," he added. Directly affected by the decision are only two jobs, Mueller`s own and the one of his deputy. Both will return to Frankfurt airport and get new assignments within FCS.
The service personnel made up of 50 staff stand on the payroll of self-handling carrier Silk Way Airlines and were hired part-time by Hahn`s FCS when needed.

Loyal to customers

When exactly the agent intends to shut the doors at Hahn is still undecided. This will happen within the course of this year, but it might take until December. "We are loyal to our customers and comply with the provisions of contracts," emphasizes Fraport`s Machacek.

Seeing things from a Hahn perspective the upcoming exit of agent FCS is another setback for the airport, especially after having lost substantial cargo and also passenger traffic in recent months.
On the other hand it could be good news for competing company VG Cargo, the by far largest provider of ground handling services at Hahn and near monopolist as soon as FCS has gone. Currently, VG Cargo is building a 10,000 sqm sized warehouse at the site that will up its total floor space to 25,000 m² once operational.
"Faced with this situation and a competitor that can easily undercut our prices due to their much larger handling volume compared to ours, we really had no alternative but to exit Hahn," manager Mueller reasons.

Banknotes will fly off

Once FCS is gone, the airport will also lose a lot of money - or more precisely: throughput of banknotes. According to the German Press Agency dpa up to five freighters per week loaded with different currencies departed from or landed at Hahn airport. So far, the Federal German Bank managed their international financial transactions in currencies and direct cash deliveries via Hahn airport. This flow of cash and valuables will end and be conducted via Rhine-Main, dpa states, once Hahn`s FCS branch is history.

From hero to ...

Hahn airport`s management will be hosting their Air Cargo New Year Reception at the airport on the 15th of January. The new Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Secretary of State Prof. Dr. Salvatore Barbaro and the new airport CEO, Markus Bunk will be introduced to the trade and press on this date. Furthermore, Mrs Malu Dreyer, the Minister President of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate will also attend.

It will be interesting to see what new information or facts, if any, they can pass on in order to allay fears which the airport employees must have considering this further setback for Hahn.
It was not long ago that Hahn Airport was being heralded as being the upcoming alternative cargo airport for Germany and that it would benefit greatly on the cargo side from the much publicized night curfew at Frankfurt`s Rhine-Main airport.

What has happened in such a short time to dash these hopes?
Maybe we`ll know more by this time next week!

Authors: HEINER SIEGMUND, Hamburg / JOHN Mc DONAGH, Frankfurt

(Cargo Forwarder vom 08.01.2014)