LEIPZIG (dpa-AFX) - During a visit to the DHL hub at Leipzig Airport, Saxony's Economics Minister Martin Dulig spoke out in favor of an early extension of the lease under "fair conditions". "We need a contract that takes everyone's interests into account - the economic interests of DHL as well as the economic interests of the airport," said the SPD politician on Wednesday on the fringes of an action day on product safety at Leipzig Airport.

Talks have been taking place between Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG (MFAG) and Deutsche Post subsidiary DHL for some time regarding a possible early extension of the contract. The current contract runs until 2036 and DHL was offered "very good conditions" when the contract was concluded around 20 years ago. The issue of landing fees for night flights must also be taken into account during the contract negotiations. There is a night flight permit for cargo aircraft at the airport. Dulig also pleaded for standards "that provide greater support for low-noise aircraft".

The airport on the border of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt is now the second-largest cargo airport in Germany after Frankfurt/Main and already number four in Europe. According to the Ministry of Economics, the annual cargo volume is around 1.4 million tons. In addition to the global hubs in Hong Kong and Cincinnati (USA), Leipzig is the most modern in the entire DHL Express network.

According to the latest figures for 2022, Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG generated a consolidated result of minus 36.5 million euros with a turnover of 171.1 million euros. According to the airport association ADV, just under 1.9 million passengers were counted in Leipzig/Halle and around 812,000 in Dresden in the first ten months of 2023. This means that both airports are still well below the pre-coronavirus level. The main shareholders of the airport are the Free State of Saxony and, with a much smaller share, the state of Saxony-Anhalt./djj/DP/ngu