Germany's Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled (04-Apr-2012) in favour of a night flight ban at Frankfurt International Airport ruling the night-flight regulation defined in the planning approval notice cannot be sustained . The move is a "terrible blow for Germany as a business location" according to Lufthansa, which added that "Frankfurt Airport risks losing international competitiveness" as a result. The carrier said it would provide further evidence of the need for night flights at Frankfurt in the course of the proceedings. Lufthansa has said it requires the night flights at the airport to enable its cargo operations to remain competitive and has warned Lufthansa Cargo's future investment plans of up to EUR1 billion are dependent on the decision. Lufthansa Cargo has estimated the night flight ban, effecting operations between 23:00 and 05:00 and affecting 17 night services, will cost it EUR40 million in revenue p/a. Lufthansa Cargo CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt added Frankfurt is "essential to our business model" and around half of the cargo transported in the bellyhold of Lufthansa aircraft is unloaded at Frankfurt, as reported by dpa-AFX. "This is not reproducible in a different location than Frankfurt - at least in the long foreseeable future," he said. [more - original PR]
Lufthansa: “Frankfurt, Hesse, and yes, even Germany, as an export and logistics nation, would have their wings clipped. This is a terrible blow to Germany's reputation as a place to do business and there is no doubt that one of Europe's largest hubs will fall behind in international competition. Nonetheless, in the additional planning procedure Lufthansa will again make the need for selected night-time flights clear,” Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Source: Company statement, 04-Apr-2012.