German state halts sale of regional airport to Chinese firm

BERLIN – Regional officials in Germany say the planned sale of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to a Chinese logistics and construction company has been put on hold.

Volker Wissing, the economy minister of Rhineland-Palatinate state, says the sale is being suspended because “doubts have arisen about the reliability of the purchaser.”

Earlier this month officials had said the state wanted to sell its 82.5 per cent stake to Shanghai Yiqian Trading Company for a sum described as in the low two-digit millions of euros (dollars).

Wissing said in a statement Wednesday that authorities would seek answers on “open questions” to ensure “certainty about the airport’s future.”

The former U.S.-military airport is located about 125 kilometres (75 miles) west of Frankfurt. It is used mainly by low-cost airlines and freight carriers.