Breaking: Berlin’s Brandenburg Airport Opens Almost 10 Years Late

Berlin’s new Brandenburg has officially opened after almost ten years of delays following the first landing of an easyJet A320neo. A dual landing by Lufthansa and easyJet on the airport’s parallel runways was planned to mark the occasion. However, this wasn’t possible due to bad weather.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, easyJet, Lufthansa
Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport has finally opened after a decade long delay. Photo: Getty Images

“Berlin Brandenburg Airport is open!” is a phrase that some journalists thought they’d never be able to utter. Delay after delay turned the airport into a white elephant, with the facility even being used to store brand new Mercedes cars at one point. However, all the kinks have now been ironed out, meaning that the airport is now one for business.

A double arrival

Recently, British Airways wanted to mark the retirement of its Boeing 747s with a double departure on Heathrow’s parallel runways. However, poor weather on the day meant that this was not possible. Unfortunately, the miserable weather in Berlin meant that today’s special event wasn’t possible. Both aircraft were required to land on the northern runway. This runway is the only one equipped for bad weather, as the southern runway doesn’t officially open until Wednesday.

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easyJet and Lufthansa are both set to become significant users of the new Terminal 1. Both were included in the unusual landing, with each carrier flying its respective CEO to the special event.

Lufthansa flew an Airbus A320neo, registered as D-AINZ, into the airport from Munich. This aircraft was chosen for the event as it is named Neubrandenburg, with Neu being the German word for new. The flight was carrying around 40 special guests, including Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, easyJet, Lufthansa
The easyJet flight landed first after a planned simultaneous landing was called off. Photo:

Meanwhile, easyJet also flew an Airbus A320neo into the airport. The European low-cost carrier flew one of its British registered aircraft into the event, G-UZHF. The aircraft wears easyJet’s special neo livery. Rather than flying from Munich, the British LCC chose a far shorter route. It carried CEO Johan Lundgren and others from Berlin’s old Tegel Airport. A distance of just 25km as the crow flies. The aircraft had positioned to Tegel from London Gatwick on Thursday.

Hundreds of protesting penguins

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, easyJet, Lufthansa
Protestors set up camp on the airport’s arrival level. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The day didn’t go without a hitch. Berlin’s special day was hijacked by thousands of climate change protestors, many wearing penguin costumes. The protest, organized by Am Boden bleiben (Stay On The Ground), saw protesters sitting in the terminal on its arrival level.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, easyJet, Lufthansa
Protestors had to be removed from the roof of the terminal by specialist police. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

However, there were some less than peaceful protestors. Special members of the police force were called in to remove protestors from the roof of the terminal’s exterior. The protesters in the terminal and on the roof were joined by a huge march of thousands escorted by the police.

What’s next for the airport?

Rather than opening all at once, the new terminal is opening in stages. Following the two special flights mentioned above, five scheduled easyJet flights will arrive at the terminal later today. The first will be flight 5924 from Fuerteventura at 20:05.

Tomorrow, the airport’s new terminal will see its first departure at 06:45. The flight, again operated by easyJet, will see G-UZHF that was part of the double landing departing for London Gatwick Airport. Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines will also begin using the new terminal tomorrow.

Berlin, Tegel, Schönefeld
Tegel Airport will close next weekend, with Schönefeld already having been renamed. Photo: Getty Images

Other airlines will move across from Tegel throughout the week, with Lufthansa’s Eurowings moving across on Wednesday, followed by Lufthansa itself next weekend. Air France will operate the Tegel’s final ever flight on Sunday, November 8th. Berlin’s old Shönefeld Airport has become part of the new Brandenburg Airport, transitioning into BER Terminal 5.

Are you booked to fly through the new Brandenburg Airport? Let us know what you think in the comments!