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Last Updated: Friday, 11 November 2005, 15:43 GMT
Ryanair in $1bn German expansion
Ryanair plane at Frankfurt Hahn airport
Ryanair has big plans for Frankfurt
Budget airline Ryanair has announced a $1bn (574m) expansion plan which would see Germany become the Irish carrier's second-biggest base.

Ryanair said it planned to increase the number of its aircraft operating at Frankfurt Hahn airport to 18 from six.

The company said it aimed to carry more than eight million passengers a year from Hahn by 2012.

Ryanair's plan would see the regional German airport overtake Dublin as its second-busiest base.

London Stansted is currently Ryanair's main base of operations.

The Frankfurt Hahn airport is about 120km (70 miles) from the city of Frankfurt.


Ryanair has already announced plans to expand its fleet of Boeing aircraft by 2012, from 92 at present to 234.

The company said it would spend $1bn on new aircraft for Frankfurt Hahn.

The airline also said it would loan authorities at Frankfurt Hahn 12.5m euros to help build a new passenger terminal.

It said its expansion would create 8,000 jobs at the regional airport in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate state.

"This is the single biggest investment in German aviation by a non-German company and will make Frankfurt Hahn one of the largest airports in Germany," said Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary.

Earlier this month Ryanair reported an 18% jump in half-year profits but said it remained cautious about its prospects in the coming winter season.

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