Low-cost carrier Ryanair has decided to shut its Frankfurt am Main base in March and move the five aircraft currently based there to airports with lower fees.

The airline will stop all flights to and from Frankfurt Am Main from 31 March.

This decision is said to be the result of rising airport fees at Frankfurt, making it uncompetitive with other European airports.

Ryanair said that competitive airport fees play an important role in post-Covid traffic recovery and the hiked airport charges at Frankfurt do not support airlines.

The carrier has informed all its pilots and cabin crew at the Frankfurt am Main base about the planned closure.

All affected flight crew can get alternative roles within its network.

The airline, however, stressed that it will keep investing in its German operations, which includes a $200m investment in a two aircraft base in Nuremberg.

Ryanair Commercial director Jason McGuinness said: “We are disappointed to announce the closure of our Frankfurt am Main base at the end of March 2022, but we have no alternative in response to a decision from the airport to increase its airport fees, despite the collapse in traffic caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“While Ryanair continues to invest in German airports who understand the requirement to lower airport charges to recover traffic, competition in the German market has been massively distorted by the €9bn of state aid that was pumped into Lufthansa, who continues to cut its fleet, connections and jobs.”

Furthermore, the carrier stated that it aims to achieve more growth across Europe this summer with its 65 new B737 8-200 ‘Gamechanger’ aircraft.