MIAMI – After a long gestation and a troubled start, Berlin’s Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport (BER) would have surely appreciated smoother operations but the COVID-19 pandemic took over and continues to hit hard on airport traffic.

According to the Berlin Brandeburg Airport press release, January was already a troubled month, terminal 5 was closed and all operations concentrated in terminal 1, passengers traffic went down with 267,620 handled, 57,000 less than in December 2020.

Compared to the same month of last year the decrease was a staggering 91%. Aircraft movements topped at 4,000 against 20,000 takeoffs in Tegel (TXL) and Schonefeld (SFX) in January 2020.

Photo: Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Negative Trend Continues in February 2021

February 2021 was not better. Passenger numbers fell to 146945, 60,000 less than the previous month, and only at 7% of passenger traffic recorded in February 2020.

Takeoffs stood at 3,000 with a reduction of 85% compared to last year’s figures. Cargo felt a less hard hit and stood at 1530 tons, down 43% compared to 2020

Engelbert Lûtke Daldrup CEO Berlin Brandenburg Airport – Photo : Miklos Budai/Airways

Comments from Berlin Brandenburg Airport CEO

Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, Chief Executive Officer of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH commented on the results by stating that “the massive decline in passenger numbers has reached a new low at all German airports. The extensive quarantine regulations, a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, have brought flight operations to an almost complete standstill.”

“But people want to fly, they long for holidays and want to book them. But these dreams can only come true when there is more safety when traveling. An effective vaccination and testing strategy are urgently needed for this.”

Featured image: Former Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Photo: Matti Blume.