Berlin Brandenburg Airport opens for business
Europe gained a new airport at the weekend when Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt (BER) finally opened for business.
The new €6 billion airport is expected to take travelling to Berlin to another level, albeit it nine-and-a-half years later than originally planned.
Its opening will mean the closure of Berlin Tegel, which is scheduled to shut its doors for the last time on November 8.
Speaking to Airport World earlier this year about BER’s opening, CEO, Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, said: “Once BER is in operation, the economic development in the capital region will accelerate enormously.
“We expect the new airport and its surroundings to create around 20,000 new jobs in the coming years. Apartments, day-care centres and schools will be added, as well as catering and commercial businesses.”
In terms of facilities, Berlin Brandenburg will initially boast parallel North and South runways and three terminals – the brand new midfield terminals (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2) with three piers (Main, North and South) and Berlin Schönefeld’s old facilities (Terminal 5).
The airport’s opening is also a milestone event for duty free operator Gebr Heinemann, which will operate nine outlets at the gateway.
Co-owner Claus Heinemann (above left) celebrated the opening of the new shops with Steffen Jopp, managing director of Heinemann Duty Free Berlin.
“It’s great to finally be able to welcome all passengers to our high-quality stores at the new BER,” enthused Jopp, who noted that Heinemann has initially opened six stores covering around 3,000sqm in Terminal 1.
“But the joy of the opening is clouded by the measures taken [by the German government] to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are working in a very co-operative partnership with Berlin Brandenburg Airport to bundle our personnel resources. This means, for example, that the gate shops will be kept ready for operations, but sales will not start until the corresponding passenger volume is reached.
“The opening hours will also be adjusted accordingly; currently the fashion stores are open from 9am to 6pm The opening hours of the Duty Free stores will be adapted to the flight schedule.”