Lufthansa has 59% of Frankfurt’s W23 capacity; airport has flights to 250+ destinations


Frankfurt FRA was Europe’s sixth-largest airport in 2023. It had 59.4 million passengers, meaning it was behind London Heathrow, Istanbul IST, Paris CDG, Amsterdam, and Madrid. Traffic was down by 16% versus 2019, mainly because of Lufthansa, big cuts to the domestic market, and the loss of easyJet, Ryanair, and Wizz Air. Their exit (and that of others) has been partly compensated by the arrival of new airlines, including Discover, Bamboo Airways, PLAY, and Sky Express.

Frankfurt FRA passengers 2006-2023

Ryanair used to be FRA’s third-largest operator

While Ryanair has served Hahn for the wider Frankfurt area for years, its arrival at FRA did not happen until 2017. It was the same year that fellow ULCC, Wizz Air, joined, supplementing service to low-cost Hahn. easyJet arrived in 2018 following the cessation of airberlin. The impact of their arrival on FRA’s traffic (see above) is clear.

According to Cirium schedules information, the trio had 3.9 million two-way FRA seats in 2019. Somewhat due to a lack of sizable alternatives to Lufthansa, Ryanair was the airport’s third-largest carrier and leading foreign operator. It had 32 routes that year, mainly to sun destinations, with FRA its 33rd most-served airport out of 236 in its network.

In contrast, Wizz Air had three routes to CEE, and easyJet had one domestic link (Berlin TXL). Ryanair pulled out in 2022 to consolidate at HHN, two years after Wizz Air. easyJet, which also left in 2020, no longer serves this area of Germany at all.

Ryanair and Wizz Air at FRA and HHN

Shannon AIrport

Lufthansa has 59% of capacity

Narrowing the focus to W23 indicates that Lufthansa has about 8.8 million departing seats and almost six in ten of the total. When the 19 other Star Alliance carriers serving FRA are added, they have nearly three-quarters of the available capacity (73%). FRA is the alliance’s fourth-largest airport globally after Istanbul IST, Beijing PEK and Tokyo HND.

Lufthansa’s W23 Frankfurt network comprises 158 destinations in 68 countries (based on having four or more departures), 19 fewer than in W19. Recent additions that operate, or did operate, this winter include:

  • 16 January 2024: Hyderabad (5-weekly in February 2024)
  • 23 April 2023: Skopje (10-weekly)
  • 23 April 2023: London LGW (14-weekly)
  • 23 April 2023: Belfast BHD (4)
  • 1 June 2022: St Louis (3)
  • 3 May 2022: Stavanger (11)

Top 10 FRA airlines W29

London LHR is the top destination out of 250+

When all airlines serving FRA are considered, the 655-kilometre link to LHR is the leading destination. This is only based on capacity and does not show the origins-destinations of passengers. One of three London-area airports served from FRA, LHR has 117-weekly flights in February by Lufthansa (84) and British Airways (33). It is FRA’s fastest-growing market of the top 10.

Notice the big declines to Berlin and Hamburg. The domestic market from Frankfurt, which is entirely served by Lufthansa, is a fifth smaller, by capacity, than it was in W19. However, the carrier’s hub means that domestic seats have recovered better than the country’s other airports. Still, the decline means that the US is very close to being Frankfurt’s leading country market, with seven airlines serving 22 airports.

Top 10 FRA destinations W23

Aeroporti di Roma