BERLIN, March 10 Munich airport is not planning
to follow the example of Frankfurt by launching special
discounts to attract low-cost carriers, but wants to instead
focus on higher-yield international traffic, the hub's chief
executive said on Friday.
Munich airport is Germany's second-largest and expects to
increase passengers numbers 4 percent to 44 million this year,
Michael Kerkloh told Reuters.
"We want to focus on our role as a major hub in Europe, that
brings new profit opportunities," Kerkloh said on the sidelines
of the ITB travel fair in Berlin.
Frankfurt airport is seeking to make up for
falling passenger numbers by attracting low-cost carriers, but
big incentives it is offering for new routes to lure Ryanair
have irked its main customer, Lufthansa.
Kerkloh said Munich airport, which gets 55 percent of its
traffic from Lufthansa, was not planning any new discounts to
attract budget carriers.
"We have normal incentives to help support new routes. We
want competition between airlines but it must be fair," he said.
He said the federal state of Bavaria's strong economy meant
locals had more money to spend on travel, while Munich could
serve as a gateway to Germany and Europe for passengers coming
Still, the number of low-cost routes operated from Munich is
set to rise as budget flying becomes more prevalent in Germany
and Europe. Lufthansa's budget unit Eurowings is starting
flights from Munich and said earlier this week that bookings
there had been above expectations.
"The proportion of low-cost carriers will rise. It's
currently at about 4 to 5 percent, while it's at 20 percent for
similar airports like Amsterdam," Munich Airport's Kerkloh said.
Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said on
Friday that the Irish low-cost carrier would not rule out flying
out of Munich but that it was too expensive and restrictive at
"We've more than doubled in size without Frankfurt, Munich
isn't a must. Eurowings going in there doesn't make us speed up
our thinking or our desire to go in there," he said.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Peter Maushagen; Editing by