German International Airports Used by Low-Cost Budget Airlines
Low-cost and budget airlines use major as well as regional airports throughout Germany for cheap non-stop flights at low airfares and ticket prices.
photo credit: dalexeenko
Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) is one of the largest in the world and the true hub of flights to Germany. However, Germany has many other airports and especially low-cost airlines allow for direct flights to many smaller centers in Germany without the need to transit via the large Lufthansa hubs at Frankfurt, Munich, and Düsseldorf.
Airports in Northern Germany Used by Low-Cost Airlines
Airports in Northern Germany, with the exception of Hamburg Airport, are relatively small and mostly used by low-cost and regional airlines. The upside is that waiting times are generally short and transportation to the nearby city or towns very fast.
- Hamburg Airport (HAM) is the most important airport by far in northern Germany. It is used by both low-cost and full-service airlines.
- Lübeck Airport (LBC), near the pretty town Lübeck with a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage listed old town, is often sold as an alternative airport to Hamburg.
- Bremen Airport (BRE) is only minutes from the city center. BRE i smostly used by low-cost airlines including Ryanair and airberlin.
- Hannover Airport (HAJ) is popular with low-cost airlines and charte flights flying to European holiday destinations. HAJ also has many of direct flights to Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
- Rostock Airport (RLG) is convenient for destinations on the German Baltic coast including Stralsund, Wismar, Kühlungsborn, and Heiligendamm.
Airports in Western Germany Used by Low-Cost Airlines
- Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) is the most important airport in Germany. True low-cost airlines are rarely seen at FRA but it is always worth comparing prices as Lufthansa frequently has internet specials.
- Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN) is around 120 km from Frankfurt but convenient for Trier, Luxemburg, and visitors to the Mosel and Rhine Rivers. It is the main German base of low-cost airline Ryanair.
- Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), Germany’s third busiest airport and a major hub of Lufthansa, is only 15 minutes by S-Bahn from Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof with excellent connections to the Ruhr area.
- Köln-Bonn Airport (CGN) claims to be most important airport on continental Europe for low-cost airlines – over 100 destinations are served from CGN.
- Ruhr cities Dortmund (DTM) and Paderborn Lippstadt (PAD) have an increasing number of cheap flights too.
- Weeze (Niederrhein) (NRN) is a major hub of low-cost airline Ryanair. However, it is far from Düsseldorf or any major cities.
- Münster-Osnabrück Airport (FMO) in an area relatively seldom visited by foreign tourists.
- Saarbrücken Airport (SCN) is one of the three smallest international airports in Germany but is served by a growing number of low-cost airlines.
Airports in Southern Germany Used by Low-Cost Airlines
Airports in Bavaria
- Munich (München) Airport (MUC) is Germany’s second busiest and actually has flights to more European destinations than Frankfurt International. It also has a huge number of domestic flights.
- Memmingen Airport (FMM) (Munich-West in Ryanair speak) is a long bus or train ride from München in the Allgäu region.
- Nürnberg (Nuremberg) Airport (NUE) is a major hub of German low-cost airline Air Berlin.
- Salzburg Airport (SZG) in Austria is convenient for some destinations in Bavaria including Berchtesgaden.
Airports in Baden-Württemberg
- Stuttgart Airport (STR) is a major hub for low-cost airlines Germanwings and TUIfly with a growing number of domestic and European destinations.
- Friedrichshafen Airport (FDH) on the Bodensee (Lake Constance) is the base of low-cost airline Intersky (and Zeppelin for that matter). In winter, it is often used as airport to serve Bavaria’s popular ski resorts around Oberstdorf as well as Swiss and Austrian ski regions.
- Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport (FKB is convenient to the famous and very classy spa town as well the northern Black Forest. Strasbourg Airport (SXB) in neighboring France and Basel (BSL) in both France and Switzerland are also convenient for travel to the Black Forest.
Airports in Eastern Germany Used by Low-Cost Airlines
- Berlin currently has two main airports: Berlin-Tegel (TXL) and Berlin-Schönefeld (SXF). Most low-cost carriers use Schönefeld but Air Berlin mostly use the more convenient Tegel. From mid-2012, new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport Willy Brandt (BER) will replace both old airports in Berlin.
- Dresden Airport (DRS) is conveniently located a few minutes and cheap S-Bahn ride from UNESCO-listed Baroque center of Dresden.
- Erfurt Airport (ERF) is equally conveniently located only minutes by bus from the center of town. Erfurt is only minutes by train from Eisenach and Weimar.
- Leipzig-Halle Airport (LEJ) is halfway between the cities that gave it its name. It can be reached in 15 minutes by train from Leipzig.
- Altenburg Airport (AOC) is not close to any major cities. It is a rather long 90-minute bus ride from Leipzig.