Three Middle Eastern airlines are moving from Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport to Terminal 2 from this weekend onwards. Etihad Airways, Oman Air and Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines will all shift their operations to the two newer terminals, with the first two being moved on October 30 and the last on November 1. However, this move is not expected to be permanent.

the shift

In a statement last week, Fraport, owners and operators of Frankfurt Main International Airport (FRA), announced that three airlines are transitioning from T1 to T2. Etihad Airways and Oman Air shifted their operations to Terminal 2 on October 30, while Middle East Airlines will join the pair on November 1.

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No clear reason was given for the move, but rather a reference to the management of passenger traffic in the winter months. Both Etihad Airways and Oman Air are hub airlines with 1 daily and 4 weekly flights to Frankfurt respectively, and also use a Boeing 787 in their operations. Middle East Airlines also flies daily to Frankfurt from Beirut, albeit with the smaller Airbus A321neo most days of the week and the occasional A330-200.

Photo: Airbus

For the Middle East and Africa region, the move brings back its SkyTeam partners and makes it the ultimate carrier for the consortium that will move to Terminal 2, potentially opening up new opportunities for passengers soon. The same can be said for Oman Air in 2024, when the airline joins one world alliance. Federation is unbiased, so her move won’t affect any alliance partnerships, but it’s a homecoming of sorts. The Abu Dhabi-based airline departed T2 in 2017, closed the lounge and moved to T1.

Not forever

In response to comments online, Frankfurt Airport has confirmed that the move is not permanent for any of the three airlines. Translating from German, the airport said the transfer is “short-term”, with no timetable for when the trio will return to T1. As the winter season changes, we are unlikely to see a change before late March, when the official summer season for airlines begins.

Terminal 1 is the largest and oldest at Frankfurt Airport, home to Lufthansa and all of its Star Alliance partners. Terminal 2 hosts the other two alliances and any other unaligned but significantly smaller airlines. In 2019, the airport saw 70.5 million passengers visit or pass through, a number that dropped to 24.8 million in 2021 but is recovering quickly.

Photo: Thomas Bohn | simple flight

This winter, Frankfurt will see flights to 246 destinations in 96 countries, with 3,530 flights per week, just 6% below pre-pandemic levels. Eurowings and Condor bring new routes to Africa, namely Mbombela and Zanzibar Island. In North America, the most lucrative market, Lufthansa flies three times a week to St. Louis, a new route for the carrier in 2022.

What do you think of the temporary transition of Etihad Airways, Oman Air, and Middle East Airlines? Let us know in the comments!

  • Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9

    Etihad Airways
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    EY / ETD
    Airline type:
    full service conveyor
    Abu Dhabi International Airport
    Year Founded:
    Executive Director:
    Tony Douglas
    The United Arab Emirates

  • Thomas Boone Middle East Airlines -3

    Middle East Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    with / things
    Airline type:
    full service conveyor
    Beirut – Rafic Hariri International Airport
    Year Founded:
    فريق السماء
    المدير التنفيذي:
    محمد الحوت

  • Tom Boone 069

    Frankfurt Airport

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    from / EDDF
    Executive Director:
    Stephen Schulte
    number of passengers:
    24,814,921 (2020)
    07L/25R 2,800m (9,240ft) |07C/25C 4,000m (13,123ft) |07R/25L 4,000m (13,123ft) |18 4,000m (13,123ft)
    Lufthansa First Class Terminal | Terminal 1 | Terminal 2 | Terminal 3 (under construction)


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