Ryanair bound for Frankfurt Airport

Some budget competition for Lufthansa in Germany...

Ryanair is ready to take Lufthansa on in its own back yard, as it prepares to develop a presence in Frankfurt.

German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that the Irish carrier will confirm its plans to start flying from Frankfurt Airport on Wednesday, with industry sources suggesting it will fly to popular Spanish tourist destinations such as Mallorca.

Flights are likely to start from March to capitalise on the summer 2017 flight season.

Ryanair head honcho Michael O'Leary had previously argued that high fees and long turnaround times at the airport – as well as Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle – would discourage lo- cost operators.

Fraport, the German transport company which operates in Frankfurt Airport, has recently been in talks with low cost carriers to boost passenger numbers.

Chief executive Stefan Schulte told Reuters in September that the company could offer financial incentives for a limited time to encourage new budget routes.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa – Fraport's main customer – has slowed growth and faced strikes as it attempts to lower costs and expand its budget Eurowings unit. Fresh competition from Ryanair is unlikely to be welcome.

Ryanair has already been expanding in Germany, taking advantage of retrenchment by Air Berlin, Germany's second largest carrier, to put on flights from Berlin and Hamburg.