On 23 February, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH closed Terminal 5 of BER (formerly Schönefeld Airport) for an initial period of one year due to corona. The traffic volume at BER can be handled entirely at Terminal 1 until further notice. The savings from the concentration of air traffic amount to around 25 million euros per year.
The new, fully completed and operational Terminal 2 will also not be put into operation for the time being. As soon as passenger numbers increase again, the handling capacities of Terminals 2 and subsequently also Terminal 5 will be gradually included in line with demand.
100 days of BER: The airport company is satisfied with the start of Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt despite the difficult conditions caused by the worldwide Corona pandemic. The new airport and its infrastructure have proven to be efficient and reliable. The technical facilities and the handling processes are running stably and ensure a high level of security. The new Terminal 1 is well received by travellers and visitors. Due to the Corona pandemic, only about 700,000 passengers could be handled at BER in the first three months. This is just about ten per cent of the pre-crisis level of 2019.
Tegel Airport is no longer a commercial airport. On 4 May 2021, midnight, the operating permit for TXL Airport ended. Since 8 November 2020, flight operations for the capital region have been concentrated at Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport in Schönefeld.
In May, the Supervisory Board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH appointed Chief Commercial Officer Aletta von Massenbach as Chief Executive Officer of FBB with effect from 1 October 2021. Airport CEO Engelbert Lütke Daldrup had asked the Supervisory Board in March 2021 to prematurely terminate his employment contract as of September 2021.
Jörg Simon will become the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH with effect from 1 July 2021. Jörg Simon succeeds Rainer Bretschneider, who has been Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH since March 2017 and is leaving at his own request.
The last meeting of the supervisory board of Berliner Flughafen-Gesellschaft (BFG) took place in June 2021. The supervisory body approved a merger of BFG with the parent company Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB).
In July, easyJet presents plans for the future of BER: The airline is investing further in the site after 17 years of local involvement and is planning a hangar for the maintenance of its European fleet at BER. Construction work on the new hangar is scheduled to start in autumn 2021, with maintenance operations planned from the beginning of 2023.
On 23 July, more than 51,000 passengers were handled at BER. This was the first time since the beginning of the Corona crisis that the number of passengers exceeded the 50,000 mark in one day. The passenger volume is thus significantly below the figures for summer travel in 2019, with up to 120,000 passengers on peak days. In 2020, however, only around 30,000 passengers were counted on peak travel days.
On 4 August, the Tegel Airport site with its 130 buildings and facilities was returned to its owners. As of 5 August, Tegel Projekt GmbH is responsible for the entire site, on which a research and industrial park for urban technologies is to be built.
Start of construction work on the easyJet hangar in the western area of BER on 23 September 2021. Maintenance operations are planned from the beginning of 2023.
Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport will be one year old on 31 October 2021. A total of eight million passengers have used the new Terminal 1 under the conditions of the Corona pandemic. A total of 74 airlines took off for more than 160 destinations in 53 countries. Around 24,400 tonnes of cargo were handled at BER.
On 10 November, Dietz Airport Hotels Grundbesitz GmbH and FBB celebrate the topping-out ceremony for the IntercityHotel at BER. Construction completion and commissioning of the hotel are planned for early 2023.
On your marks, get set, test! Registration for the trial operation for extras starts in January at ber-testen.de. Employees of the airport company and process partners such as airlines, the Federal Police, customs, and ground handling service providers will be prepared for the start of operations at BER in trial operations from the end of April. The trial operation with around 400 extras per day started at the beginning of July 2020. In total, over 24,000 employees and 9,897 extras were able to get to know BER on 47 trial operation days. Around 179,000 pieces of baggage and 54,000 bookings for 2,350 flights contributed to a realistic impression of the airport.
In the wake of the Corona crisis and the global slump in air traffic in spring 2020, Berlin's airports also recorded a drastic decline in passenger numbers: While in 2019 an average of around 100,000 passengers travelled through Tegel and Schoenefeld every day, in spring and autumn 2020 there were sometimes fewer than 1,000 a day. In 2020, a total of 9.1 million passengers were handled.
The lower building supervisory (untere Bauaufsichtsbehörde) authority of the Dahme-Spreewald district confirms the completion of Terminal 1 at BER on 28 April 2020 following the completion of construction work. The building is thus released for use.
Completion of the service building of the Federal Police on 31 July 2020.
In August 2020, the security perimeter is activated at Berlin Brandenburg Airport in accordance with Section 8 of the Aviation Security Act and a security search is carried out (Cleaning).
At the end of August 2020, the fire protection and evacuation exercise in the airport station and terminal will be successfully carried out.
Completion of Terminal 2 at the end of September 2020. The terminal building will not be put into operation for the time being due to the slump in passenger numbers.
The move from Tegel Airport to BER T1 and T5 respectively from T5 to T1 took place in three major relocation steps. To ensure a smooth opening, the move was started well before the start of operations. The aim was to spread out the volume of the move so that as little furniture, equipment and apparatus as possible had to be moved during the actual nights of the move.
Opening of the station "Airport BER Terminal 1-2" on 25 October 2020.
In the night from 24 to 25 October, the previous three-letter code "SXF" of Schoenefeld Airport was replaced by the code "BER" in the flight booking systems. The existing facilities at Schönefeld Airport will continue to operate as BER's Terminal 5.
The capital region's new airport bears the name of Willy Brandt, one of the outstanding statesmen of the 20th century. On 30 October 2020, the namesake was honoured with the ceremonial unveiling of the memorial wall in Terminal 1 in the run-up to the opening.
Just open: On 31 October 2020, Terminal 1 of Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt (BER) opened with the arrival of the first two aircraft from easyJet and Lufthansa. After landing on BER's northern runway, passengers including easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren and Deutsche Lufthansa AG CEO Carsten Spohr were welcomed to Terminal 1 by Airport CEO Engelbert Lütke Daldrup. The symbolic opening ceremony, which took place in a very small circle due to the ongoing Corona pandemic, was also attended by the Minister President of the State of Brandenburg, Dietmar Woidke, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, as well as the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Andreas Scheuer MdB, and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Rainer Bretschneider. On the evening of 31 October, the first arriving commercial flights were welcomed at Terminal 1. On the morning of 1 November, the first easyJet flight to London Gatwick took off from Terminal 1.
With the landing of Qatar Airways flight QR81 from Doha, BER's southern runway opened on 4 November 2020. With the commissioning of the southern runway, BER is thus fully operational, the night flight regulation comes into force and the six-month period for the final closure of Tegels Airport begins.
On 8 November 2020, Air France flight AF1235 was the last aircraft to take off from Berlin-Tegel Airport "Otto Lilienthal", or TXL for short. At 3 p.m., an Air France Airbus A320-200 took off in the direction of Paris Charles de Gaulle. This marked the end of flight operations at Tegel and all air traffic in the capital region is now concentrated at BER. The airport site was symbolically handed over to the city of Berlin. According to the valid zoning decision for Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Berlin-Tegel Airport must be kept operational for another six months after BER is fully operational. During this time, however, no more flights will take place at Tegel.
In November 2020, passenger numbers will decline again due to the second lockdown and the massive travel restrictions due to the Covid 19 pandemic. In the first month after the opening of BER, a total of 213,000 passengers took off or landed at BER. In October 2020, both Schönefeld and Tegel airports recorded a total of 581,322 passengers. One year earlier, in November 2019, 2,544,833 passengers were handled at the two airports Schoenefeld and Tegel. In comparison, the number of passengers in November 2020 fell by 91.6 per cent.