After a German-language newspaper had alleged that e-tail giant Amazon was in discussions with Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN) over a possible purchase of the facility, officials at HHN recently dismissed the discussions as “rumors” and said talks, if any, are being handled by the airport’s owner, the municipality of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Earlier this year, the newspaper Süddeutschen Zeitung had reported that Amazon had held talks with Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, which has been losing money and up for sale at least since February. Amazon, the paper reported, was likely one of three unnamed bidders that had shown interest in buying HHN.
Today, however, officials for HHN told Lloyd’s Loading List that neither the airport nor its municipal owner had been in contact with Amazon regarding any possible sale. Although the spokesperson told Lloyd’s that HHN could not comment further about talks over sales negotiations, she said that the three rumored bids for the trouble airport have all come from China.
Rumors about Amazon’s plans for Europe have been intensifying ever since early March, when it was revealed that the Seattle-based e-commerce company would be leasing at least 20 freighters from ATSG to serve the U.S. domestic market. These reports came on the heels of confirmation in late 2015 that Amazon had also been conducting trials for an express operation in Europe, involving five flights a week using a chartered 737 freighter between Poland, the U.K. and Germany. Many in the industry speculated that Amazon was considering setting up a similar service across Europe.
Amazon has declined to comment on reports about interest in the HHN sale or about it’s European ambitions.
Frankfurt-Hahn has seen a sharp drop-off in cargo in recent years, handled less than 80,000 tonnes in 2015, which was a 40 percent decrease from its 2014 figure, and only 28 percent of the airport’s peak handle of 286,000 tonnes in 2011.