EU probes state aid for Frankfurt’s Hahn airport

The European Commission opened a probe Tuesday into state aid to Frankfurt’s Hahn airport and contracts with low-cost carrier Ryanair to ensure that they respect EU rules after receiving complaints.

EU probes state aid for Frankfurt’s Hahn airport
Photo: DPA

The investigation targets in particular two capital increases that the Hessen and Rheinland-Palatinate regional authorities participated in and a profit-and-loss transfer agreement with its mother company Fraport.

The commission, Europe’s top competition watchdog, said it would also look into fees at the airport and in particular individual contracts with Ryanair. German airline Lufthansa has complained in the past that Ryanair benefited from reduced fees at the airport, where the cut-price airline has one of its biggest European hubs.

Hahn is situated around 150 kilometres southwest of Frankfurt and is one of Ryanair’s biggest European hubs.

Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH is 65 percent owned by Frankfurt airport operator Fraport, while the regional state authorities of Hesse and the Rhineland-Palatinate each hold 17.5 percent.


Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.