Frankfurt Hahn Airport (HHN), an international budget flights hub in Germany, has filed for bankruptcy at the Bad Kreuznach Administrative Court.
It is still unclear how the bankruptcy would impact flight operations at the airport.
The court has appointed Jan Markus Plathner as the provisional administrator for the bankruptcy proceedings.
China-based HNA Group holds an 82.5% stake in the airport while the remaining stake is owned by the German state of Hesse.
In 2017, HNA Group acquired a stake from the state of Rhineland-Palatinate for $17.5m (€15m).
In February, a court in China initiated bankruptcy proceedings against HNA following requests from its creditors.
However, China’s Liaoning Fangda Group and Hainan Development Holdings stated that they could clear the debt owed to retail investors by HNA.
Furthermore, HNA Group chairman Chen Feng and CEO Tan Xiangdong were detained by Hainan provincial police for alleged criminal offences in September.
The airport started witnessing a plunge in passenger business way before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the global aviation industry.
Originally, the airport served as an important hub for budget carrier Ryanair. However, it suffered a huge dent in its earnings after the discount airline started shifting to nearby larger airports.
Government subsidies were granted to keep the airport solvent as its debt had piled up.
Frankfurt Hahn Airport handled approximately 1.5 million passengers in 2019.
Software firm PSI Logistics helped the airport in its IT infrastructure renewal.
Software and control computers, as well as monitoring and display systems in baggage handling, were also upgraded.