In a bid to conserve cash, the operators of Berlin Tegel have decided to temporarily close the facility and move traffic to Schönefeld from June 15. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, both airports have each recently been handling just 2,000 passengers a day.
German media is reporting that the move – which is expected to last for at least two months – will save the airport operator FBB around €200,000 a day.
At the end of April, the company applied to the German civil aviation authority for a temporary exemption of its operating obligation for Tegel scheduled to come into effect on June 15. Two conditions were attached when it was granted. The first was that civil air traffic is served in accordance with demand at all times and the second, was that the government’s user interest in flight operations are safeguarded.
Rainer Bretschneider, chairman of the supervisory board of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (FBB), said: “I am glad that the discussion from the past few weeks has led to a positive and, above all, unanimous result, which gives the management the freedom to act in the interests of the company, but also in the interests of the air traffic in the entire capital region.”
The airport operator says that the aim of the move is to stabilise flight operations in an efficient and reliable manner until Berlin’s long-awaited Brandenburg facility opens on October 31.
Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, CEO of FBB, added: “Ensuring the best possible flight operations under the current [COVID-19] conditions is our task. We welcome the willingness of the government to start flight operations at Schönefeld in the near future. This is a clear commitment to [Brandenburg].”