The lights go out in Tegel: the north Berlin airport said goodbye to the last plane bound for Paris this Sunday. Then it is finished and the airport is ready to operate.
Berlin (dpa) – After 60 years of operation, this Sunday the last plane will take off from Berlin’s Tegel airport. The airport in the north of the capital will stop operating completely, but will remain operational for the next six months. Tegel will lose his license on May 4, 2021. The last flight will be an Air France flight to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. The airline was the first to land at Tegel in 1960. It should now be the last airline to take off from there. Guests of honor and journalists are expected on board.
The head of the airport, Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, wants to say goodbye to the last plane together with the mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller (SPD), and the French ambassador to the Federal Republic, Anne-Marie Descôtes, on the spot. “Following the departure of the last flight, Engelbert Lütke Daldrup will symbolically hand over the TXL airport key to the mayor of Berlin for Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH,” the airport company announced. At 7:45 p.m. the light symbolically turns off.
However, the airport is no longer open to visitors on Sundays. The last day of regular operation was Saturday. Thousands of visitors came to bid farewell to the popular location. From the visitor’s terrace they observed the last plane taking off and landing in regular operation.
From now on, the capital’s air traffic will be managed in Schönefeld, at the new BER airport. After years of delays, the new airport opened on Saturday last week. The airport’s new south runway has also been in operation since Wednesday.
Last year, more than 24 million passengers took off and landed at Tegel Airport, which was last designed for around 10 million passengers a year. For years, much of the air traffic in the capital has been managed through the location, which until recently was completely overloaded. The Easyjet airline, which was the largest operator in Berlin until then, operated the largest location outside its home country, England, at Tegel. Many domestic flights also took off and landed there.
The Corona crisis had brought air traffic to a standstill in the spring and currently only about a third of the machines are flying compared to normal times.