Berlin Tegel Airport’s management can’t seem to decide whether or not to stay open this summer…
Berlin Tegel Airport was supposed to close on June 15
As recently as last week, the plan was for Berlin Tegel Airport to close as of June 15, 2020. The idea was that:
- Travel demand is way down due to the pandemic
- The much anticipated Berlin Brandenburg Airport is expected to open on October 31, 2020, only about nine years late and about €4 billion over budget
- In the meantime Berlin Schönefeld Airport was supposed to handle all the capacity (this is essentially the same airport as Brandenburg — the airports share a runway, but just have different terminals)
But now the operators of the airport have backtracked.
Berlin Tegel will stay open after all
With the latest plan, Berlin Tegel Airport will remain open through November 8, 2020, so it will continue to operate until about a week after Berlin Brandenburg Airport opens.
What has changed, according to airport management?
- There are clear signs of an impending recovery, as it’s expected there will be 40 destinations to Berlin as of mid-June, and 100 destinations to Berlin as of mid-July
- The airport expects that the number of daily passengers will increase from about 3,000 to 6,000 in June, and to about 20,000 in July
- Many countries are starting to lift travel restrictions, allowing more opportunities for international travel
- Several airlines have announced increased flights to Berlin, with EasyJet resuming flights in late June, and Ryanair resuming flights in late June, and increasing service in July
- With increased demand plus the need for distancing, the airport management has decided that it makes sense to stay open
Berlin Tegel Airport is now forecasted to remain open through early November 2020, until after the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport opens.
Clearly the airport management is optimistic about travel making a significant comeback this year, though one has to wonder if it’s not at least somewhat wishful thinking.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Berlin airport situation progresses throughout the year, and whether Brandenburg Airport does in fact open, while Berlin Tegel eventually closes.