Unusual start of the capital BER airport on the weekend: Due to the Corona crisis, only a fraction of the usual number of passengers is expected. Airlines tailor their offers accordingly.
Berlin (dpa) – Not many passengers are expected at the start of the new airport in the capital BER this Saturday (31 October); airlines are preparing for this with a correspondingly reduced offer.
For example, Berlin’s biggest supplier to date, British airline Easyjet, has agreed with the unions to reduce the fleet stationed in Berlin from 34 aircraft to 18 last year.
The airline initially offers 46 routes to international destinations, as announced. Next year there should be 70 connections. “If demand increases, we will expand our flight offerings accordingly,” he said. Easyjet plans to start operations at BER with around 180 flights per week. In 2019, there were around 250 daily flights from Berlin’s Tegel and Schönefeld airports.
Lufthansa does not have its own aircraft at BER. Use the airport primarily as a departure point for long-haul flights with a single change at the hubs in Frankfurt or Munich. Germany’s largest airline plans to start in BER with just 30 flights a day, about half the number before the crisis.
Lufthansa’s subsidiary Eurowings, on the other hand, will depart BER for the first time on November 4, as the company announced. The airline will initially offer 70 flights per week. A large part of these are German national connections. Of around 300 departures scheduled for November, only about 16 go abroad. “This shows the picture of travel restrictions for most holiday destinations in Europe,” said a spokesman.
Low-cost carrier Ryanair will also reduce its BER capacities for the winter flight schedule, to 40 percent from the previous year, as announced by the Irish company on request. Ryanair will then offer around 27 international routes.
Airport chief Engelbert Lütke Daldrup had recently expected a total of around 5,000 passengers on the airport’s opening day at the main terminal T1. With the closure of Tegel a week later, around 16,000 passengers would be processed at T1. Another 8,000 passengers would then travel through Schönefeld Airport, which serves as Terminal 5 for BER. In view of these low numbers, Terminal 2, which has already been completed, will not be needed for the time being and therefore will not open until spring.