"We mustn’t just look at BER now," warned oliver wagner, head of lufthansa’s berlin operations. The old tegel airport now has to cope with more takeoffs and landings than ever before.
Germany’s largest airline demanded that the berlin senate put more police on the roads to the airport to prevent traffic chaos. You don’t want to take off with half-full planes just because the passengers are stuck in traffic jams, said thomas kropp, a company representative.
So far, the old berlin airports tegel and schonefeld have coped well with the additional load. "It was a mild and calm start," said airport spokesman ralf kunkel. In the coming weeks it will be more difficult. "Passengers should in any case allow more time for the journey and the stay at the airport."
For the winter, lufthansa is asking for major exceptions to the ban on night flights when snow and ice hinder operations. "We want to get through the winter with a rough program – and there are still some question marks."
Lufthansa now takes off and lands in berlin 1070 times a week, which equates to a good 50 percent more flights. It has 31 new connections on offer and wants to steal customers away from the low-cost airlines with direct flights starting at 49 euros in berlin. Air berlin has increased its program by 8 percent to around 1500 takeoffs and landings.
"It’s naturally tight, that’s why we need a new airport," said berlin’s traffic senator michael muller (SPD). "But i think we can achieve that." It was a bitter blow that the coarse airport was not finished on time. It is now to be held instead of on 3. June 2012 at 17. March 2013 go into operation.
Muller had flights to 23.00 a.M. Approved so that the airlines can accommodate all takeoffs and landings in tegel. The flights demanded by air berlin before 6.00 o’clock on sunday, however, he turned them down.
According to its own figures, lufthansa’s new flight program puts it just behind the top dog air berlin in terms of frequency and seats. "We want to be number one here," said a spokesman. In the fall, new connections are added.
Brandenburg’s minister president matthias platzeck (SPD) said in a statement on sunday that there would be no transitional solutions when the new airport opens next spring. Now it’s a matter of fundamentals before speed. Platzeck said: "it is self-evident for the supervisory board that the airport can only start operations with a fully automatic fire protection system. And this complex system, which is one of the world’s largest, will not be fully operational until december, according to the management. Then came the check and approval of the plant complex."