Berlin Brandenburg Airport has today opened its southern runway. The first aircraft to land on the runway was a Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900, after a Lufthansa A320neo was unable to use the runway on Saturday due to poor weather.
Following almost ten years of delays, Berlin’s Brandenburg Airport has finally opened. The facility was inaugurated on Saturday with a landing by two major carriers, Lufthansa and easyJet. However, so far, one vital part has remained unopen. This is the airport’s southern runway. As such, some easyJet A320s had a very long taxi out to depart earlier this week.
Qatar Airways opens the runway
Brandenburg’s new southern runway was officially commissioned today. Following the opening, it was only natural that one airline would need to be the first to use the long landing strip. At 09:50, A Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 registered as A7-AMF arrived on the runway from the east. According to data from FlightRadar24.com, the aircraft used around half of the runway to land.
Once it had landed, Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 taxied to the gate where a water cannon salute greeted it. During a press conference to mark the occasion, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker commented,
“I know it has been a difficult road to get here, and I think the wait has truly been worth it… We first began flying to Berlin in 2005. Gradually growing the route as it became one of our most popular destinations. While we had to temporarily suspend services due to COVID-19, our commitment to Berlin and to Germany has remained as strong as ever.”
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
An Airbus A350-900 arrival
Typically Qatar Airways has been operating the route to Germany’s capital city with a Boeing 787-8 aircraft since services resumed. Before the suspension, an Airbus A350-1000 was used. The A350-900 was chosen today to be a memorable flight marking the occasion.
Today was the third day that the airline had flown to Berlin’s new airport. Yesterday, the airline’s outbound flight was delayed due to an issue with a faulty pushback tug. Simple Flying asked the airport’s executives about load factors in the first few days. While unable to comment specifically on Qatar Airways, they revealed that flights have so far been around 50% full.
Moving forwards, the second runway will help to increase the airport’s capacity as demand starts to ramp up in the coming years. It will also decrease aircraft taxi times. Before today, aircraft using the south pier faced a long taxi up to the northern runway. Now they will start almost adjacent to the southern runway. Terminal 5 departures will continue only to use the north runway.
Have you flown into Berlin Brandenburg Airport yet? What did you make of the terminal? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!