Berlin Tegel Airport to close as passenger numbers plummet
Berlin’s busiest airport will close on June 15 for at least two months, though authorities say the closure may be permanent. The measure aims to save money amid ongoing travel bans owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Berlin’s Tegel Airport will temporarily close from June 15 to save costs amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, officials announced on Wednesday.
The federal government and the states of Berlin and Brandenburg announced the decision during a video conference with shareholders. Airport operator FBB will close Tegel for around two months, aiming to save around €200,000 ($220,000) a day.
“In the next few months we will see if the capital region needs one or two airports,” FBB chief Lütke Dalrup told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
“Now it is about taking the next steps responsibly,” Daldrup added. “Our next job is to ensure the recovery of the air industry and not hinder it.”
Could the closure be permanent?
Berlin Tegel is normally the city’s busiest airport. All flight traffic will be handled by Berlin Schönefeld airport which operates mainly budget airlines like easyJet and Ryanair. At least 24 million people flew via Tegel in 2019, making it Germany’s fourth-busiest airport.
A new airport for the German capital, Berlin Brandenburg, was scheduled to open to replace Tegel on October 31 this year, but this plan has had doubt cast upon it owing to coronavirus restrictions.
However, FBB has remained optimistic that Berlin Brandenburg will open as planned, and have duly not ruled out the possibility that Tegel may never reopen.
Tegel and Schönefeld have seen only around 2,000 passengers per day in recent weeks.