After nearly a decade-long delay, Berlin Brandenburg Airport will commence with inaugural flights from Lufthansa and easyJet
At last, it is the start of a new era for travelers in Berlin. Amidst the global pandemic, the city is finalizing preparations for the opening of the new international airport, Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER).
Brandenburg Airport also called the Willy Brandt, will open on Saturday, 31 October, and be fully operational as of Monday, 1 November. It will become Germany’s third-largest airport, the first being Frankfurt and second Munich.
The German flag carrier Lufthansa and the budget airline easyJet, the two largest groups at BER, are scheduled for a parallel inaugural landing on 31 October.
The new airport is designed to see 27 million passengers a year
Having been designed to see almost 30 million passengers per year, its first month of operation will likely see only about 20 percent of the expected numbers due to the pandemic.
The airport houses just over 100 shops and restaurants — about 15 of them will remain closed and the rest will follow restricted opening hours as the airport’s November traffic will be low.
The airport’s Terminal 2 will not open before the spring of 2021.
Schönefeld’s terminal was refurbished to become Brandenburg’s Terminal 5
Located just south-east of the city, Brandenburg Airport is built on the same airfield as Berlin’s second airport, Schönefeld (SFX) whose terminal has received a remake and refurbished as BER’s Terminal 5.
Berlin-Schönefeld officially closed on 25 October 2020.
Schönefeld’s train station will be refreshed as part of a Deutsche Bahn program.
Berlin’s Tegel Airport will close for good on 8 November
Brandenburg Airport was commissioned as part of a single airport concept, meaning it would become the only commercial airport for Berlin and the Brandenburg area. As Berlin’s existing airports of Schönefeld, Tegel, and Tempelhof had been aging and at the limit of their capacity, BER’s construction initiated in 2006.
The airport was originally scheduled to welcome its first passengers in 2011, five years after the construction started, but it has encountered a series of delays and financial difficulties.
Tempelhof was decommissioned in 2008, but the new airport’s delayed opening has led to Tegel Airport remaining open longer than planned, with the closing date definitively scheduled for Sunday, 8 November.