Berlin: Berlin’s newly opened airport BER is to shut one of its terminals on Monday in response to the sharp fall in passenger traffic caused by the pandemic.
“We’re initially closing for a year, then we’ll decide again,” airport spokesperson Hannes Stefan Hoenemann said. “If things go well, we’ll open the terminal again.”
BER opened last October near the ageing Schoenefeld Airport, which was put into operation in 1976 in former East Germany. Schoenefeld was rebra2nded BER Terminal 5, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
Terminal 1 was opened on October 31, following a nine-year delay and a tripling of the project’s original 2-billion-euro budget.
Terminal 5 was initially to stay open for a number of years, since passenger demand was expected to exceed the new infrastructure’s capacity – until the pandemic hit.
Berlin’s airports saw passenger numbers plummet in 2020 by around three-quarters to just 9.1 million people, according to airport operators.
Tegel Airport, which served former West Berlin and was located near the city centre, closed in November as all flights were funnelled to the new BER on the south-eastern outskirts of the city.