Dortmund, like many smaller airports in Germany, has struggled following the consolidation of the country’s airlines and a downturn in traffic to some popular tourist destinations. But salvation is coming in the form of low-cost carriers, as Sebastian Schmitz found out.

Dortmund’s salvation has come from low-cost carriers that now provide the airport with the majority of its traffic.
(All photos author except where stated)

The eastern Ruhrgebiet, the area around the River Ruhr, is the most densely populated part of Germany. Fifty years ago it was heavily industrialised: coal and steel were the main products and air pollution was so bad that washing hung out in the morning was grey by tea-time.

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