May 9, 2017 / 1:47 PM / in 2 months

Fraport expects 3 million Ryanair passengers in 2018

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FILE PHOTO: Planes of German air carrier Lufthansa AG on the tarmac at Fraport airport in Frankfurt, Germany, June 7, 2016.Kai Pfaffenbach - File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - The operator of Frankfurt airport, Fraport (FRAG.DE), is expecting rapid growth from new customer Ryanair (RYA.I) over the next couple of years, helping it to return to growth in passenger numbers this year.

Speaking after the airport operator reported first-quarter results, Fraport Chief Financial Officer Matthias Zieschang said on Tuesday that Ryanair was planning to base 12 aircraft at Frankfurt from 2018, up from an initial 2 this summer and then 7 planes from this September.

The Irish airline could therefore serve around 3 million passengers from Frankfurt next year after an expected 1 million this year.

Zieschang said with growth from Ryanair and other low cost carriers, it will therefore likely hit capacity at its current two terminals in 2019 and so it is planning to construct a simple one-floor pier, with shops but no lounges, that could be built within two or three years and be used by low cost carriers.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Ludwig Burger

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