Air Berlin operates the most flights out of Germany’s capital city, Berlin, and will have to move once the city’s new airport opens. However, Air Berlin Chief Thomas Winkelman stated that the airline would prefer to stay at Tegel International Airport, if the airport remains operational.
In a statement, Winkelmann stated, “If Tegel remains open, you can make a museum out of the BER.”
For years now citizens of Berlin have been frustrated over the constant delays to open the new Brandenburg International Airport.
The airport was initially supposed to begin passenger operations on June 3, 2012, though officials quickly realized this opening date would not be achieved. After years and billions of dollars lost, the public gained a bit of hope in 2015 when a new expected opening was set for 2017.
In January of this year, it became clear that the airport would not be operational. New reports suggest an opening in 2019 but it is not clear yet whether or not the airport will be able to open by then.
Current plans show that Tegel Airport will be closed six months after Brandenburg International Airport is opened. Citizens of Berlin believe that the German capital city will need a second airport due to Brandenburg only being able to handle 27 million passengers per year when it opens.
In 2016, Berlin Tegel and Schoenefeld served 32.9 million passengers, so if Tegel closes, Brandenburg would need to be expanded just as soon as it is opened.
However, “Berlin Needs Tegel” a campaign in the city, has secured enough support from locals to launch a referendum. If the referendum is a success, when held in September, Tegel will most likely stay operations.