Lufthansa sets date for move to Berlin’s long-delayed new airport
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Lufthansa will move to Berlin’s much-maligned Brandenburg International Airport in November, as the long-delayed airfield prepares to finally open its doors nearly a decade late.
The Star Alliance carrier will begin operating flights to and from Brandenburg (BER) on 8 November, Lufthansa said Wednesday. The first departure is scheduled as flight LH173, the 6:30am departure to Frankfurt (FRA).
Lufthansa’s budget arm Eurowings will move to Brandenburg four days earlier on 4 November. The carrier’s group peers Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines will join Lufthansa in commencing operations at the airport on 8 November.
The move to Brandenburg from Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL), located northwest of the city centre, will take Lufthansa a week with ground equipment due to begin the relocation on 31 October.
The opening of Brandenburg airport has been a long time coming. Originally scheduled to open in 2011, a June 2012 date was missed due to issues with the airport’s fire safety and smoke exhaust systems that subsequently took years to rectify. The 31 October 2020 opening date was set last November.
The new airport is built south of the existing Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF) on the southwest side of Berlin. It is connected to the city via new rail links, including an Airport Express train to Berlin Hauptbahhof and the Berlin regional rail S Bahn network.
Lufthansa’s move to Brandenburg includes a new lounge for business-class travellers and elite frequent flyers. At more than 17,200 square feet, the “Lufthansa Lounge” will feature separate Senator and Business areas and will offer travellers views of the apron and Berlin skyline, according to the airline.
Lufthansa is the second-largest single carrier at Berlin Tegel. In June, the airline will operate up to 36 daily departures to Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC) from Tegel, according to Cirium schedules. The number of departures jumps to up to 117 a day when Austrian, Brussels, Eurowings and Swiss flights are included.
EasyJet is the largest carrier at Tegel with up to 90 daily departures in June, Cirium shows.
Tegel, with all of its 1970s-infused glory, is due to close shortly after Brandenburg opens. Coming even after Berliners voted to keep the field open in a non-binding referendum, the airport is due to become new office and residential space. But architectural buffs need not fret; parts of the airport’s iconic 1974 hexagon-shaped terminal are to be converted to new uses under the plan.
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