CEOs of easyJet and Lufthansa among the first to land at the new site
Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt (BER) opened its new Terminal 1 on Saturday, October 31, with easyJet and Lufthansa operating the first two flights. The passengers on board were greeted on arrival, including John Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, and Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa.
A small circle of people attended the opening, including Dietmar Woidke, Minister-President of the state of Brandenburg, and Michael Muller, Governing Mayor of Berlin.
The first easyJet flight from BER to London Gatwick took place on Sunday, November 1.
Woidke believes now is the time to “regain lost confidence”, and he hopes the opening is a positive step for the district: “BER will be a strong driver for economic growth and employment in the region and for the whole of eastern Germany. I am convinced that BER will live up to its role as the largest and most important infrastructure project in Brandenburg and Berlin.”
The former Schönefeld Airport is in the northern area, whereas Terminals 1 and 2 are situated between the two parallel runways. Both runways can operate independently.
Flights will begin to run from the southern airstrip on November 4.
The new six-track railway under Terminal 1 ensures that there is direct access to rail services, as it’s expected that two-thirds of all passengers will travel to the airport by train.
Bus travel is also a popular mode of transport within the region and there are frequent buses running between BER and Berlin.
The expectation from BER is that more passengers will fly to and from this location compared with any other site in Germany.
Muller was also extremely happy with the developments. “We are very pleased that the capital city will now also offer new prospects for international connections and direct flights with this new, large airport,” he said. “This is of strategic importance for Berlin as a business and tourism destination.”
Being Germany’s third-largest airport site, BER is said to be able to handle a total of 40 million passengers a year. Around 25 million of travellers should be able to pass through Terminal 1.
Covering a total area of 1,470 hectares, the new site is a similar size to 2,000 football pitches.