BERLIN Feb 14 Eastern European low-cost carrier
Wizz Air on Tuesday said it would start flights from
Frankfurt Airport this summer, becoming the latest budget
airline to add routes from Germany's largest airport.
Wizz Air said it would fly to Sofia from May and Budapest
from December, taking the number of German airports it flies
from to 11.
Low cost carriers have so far not taken major market share
at Frankfurt, due to its high costs and long turnaround times.
But airport operator Fraport, seeking to
compensate for slower passenger number growth at main customer
Lufthansa, last year signed up Ryanair, which
had previously ruled out routes from Frankfurt.
"The decision by Wizz Air also underscores the growing
importance of Frankfurt for the low-cost market," Fraport sales
executive Winfried Hartmann said in a statement.
Lufthansa, which called for Fraport to lower fees after the
Ryanair deal was announced, said this month it was looking at
low-cost flying out of Frankfurt using its Eurowings budget
While other low-cost carriers expand in Germany, Transavia,
a unit of Air France-KLM, said Monday it would no
longer base aircraft at Munich after this summer, saying it was
uncertain whether it could make a profit.
Air France-KLM had wanted to grow Transavia into a
pan-European carrier but after strikes by Air France pilots, it
said in November that Transavia would focus on its home markets
of the Netherlands and France.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Maria Sheahan)