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Business

Budget Airlines Help Small Airports Take Off

Smaller German airports have profited from the multitude of budget airlines that operate from them, according to a study released on Wednesday by the Cologne Institute for Business Research. The airports, usually located outside major cities in contrast to major hubs, have seen passenger traffic increase since carriers such as Ryanair and EasyJet chose them over larger airports due to their lower fees. While Frankfurt, Germany's largest airport, saw passenger traffic drop by 0.2 percent, nearby Hahn Airport, the main German hub for Ryanair, saw a 66 percent increase over last year. Germanwings and Hapag-Lloyd Express experienced a 44.3 percent increase in 2003, ferrying 7.8 million passengers out of Cologne/Bonn airport. Düsseldorf, Germany's third largest airport, was down 500,000 passengers last year. The study showed that tourists are not the only ones taking advantage of the no-frill boom. More and more business trips are also taking advantage of cheaper airlines.

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