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German airport Hahn seen being sold to Chinese buyer

[FRANKFURT] The owners of Germany's Frankfurt Hahn airport are expected to announce its sale Monday, likely to a Chinese buyer, at a news conference scheduled for 0900 GMT.

The airport is used mainly by budget airline Ryanair , whose passenger numbers there dropped to 2.7 million last year from almost 4 million 10 years ago, partly due to its 120-kilometre (75 miles) distance from Frankfurt.

German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported last week that three Chinese bidders were left in the running to buy the airport, including HNA Aviation, the largest private operator of airlines in China.

The deal would further underscore growing Chinese interest in the global aviation industry. HNA last week agreed to buy a stake in Virgin Australia, and is buying in-flight catering company Gategroup.

Hahn airport is expected to be sold for a low single-digit million-euro amount, a person familiar with the negotiations told Reuters last month.