COVID Crisis Delays Frankfurt Airport Terminal 3 By Another Year

The completion of Frankfurt Airport’s third terminal will be delayed by at least a year as a result of the current pandemic. The main terminal’s construction is now expected to be completed in 2024, with passenger operations targetted for the summer of 2025.

Frankfurt Airport, Terminal 3, Delay
Frankfurt Airport has confirmed that its third terminal will be delayed. Photo: Fraport

Frankfurt Airport is currently in the process of building a third terminal to its south. The terminal is being built on the land previously utilized for the US Air Force’s Rhein-Main Air Base. The new terminal should accommodate an extra 26 million yearly passengers when the primary phase is complete.

However, the airport is currently only using one terminal is it copes with a record low number of passengers due to the pandemic. At the worst point of the crisis in April, the airport handled just 188,078. Multiplied across a year, this wouldn’t even fill one pier of the new Terminal. The industry has, however, begun to show signs of recovery.

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A 1-year delay

In a statement to Simple Flying, a Frankfurt Airport spokesperson confirmed that the third terminal being built at Frankfurt Airport is now not expected to be completed until 2024. This had previously been targetted for 2023. This isn’t the only delay to have hit German airports. Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport has become infamous for a wealth of issues that have delayed its opening by over ten years.

Frankfurt Airport, Terminal 3, Delay
While the terminal is still being built, its gates are already in use. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The spokesperson told Simple Flying,

“Due to temporary intra-European border closures, the construction contractors have experienced shortages of material and personnel. This will lead to some delays with individual construction measures. As a result, the main terminal building and Piers H and J are now expected to be completed in 2024.”

One airline that will likely not be over the moon about the delay to Frankfurt’s new terminal is Ryanair. In March, the airline’s CEO pointed out that he was in negotiations with Frankfurt airport about when the terminal will be delivered. He dubbed the terminal as “the low-cost terminal”.

Not only bad news

Thankfully, it wasn’t only bad news as far as Frankfurt’s third terminal is concerned. The airport spokesperson told us that sufficient work has been completed on Pier G, that it can be finished as planned next year.

Frankfurt Airport, Terminal 3, Delay
Progress is being made on the terminal’s construction. Photo: Fraport

As such, while the main terminal is delayed, Frankfurt hopes to open this pier to passengers in the summer of 2022. Pier G will increase Frankfurt Airport’s passenger capacity by 5 million. Before the crisis, Lufthansa’s home airport was the busiest airport in Germany and the fourth busiest in Europe.

It seems that the effort already spent on building Terminal 3 won’t have been made in vain either. The airport remains committed to continuing its long-term expansion projects. Its spokesperson told us,

“In the long term, Germany’s air traffic will also grow again. We are convinced this will happen – as proven by previous crisis situations.”

When do you think Frankfurt Airport will open Terminal 3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!