Berlin Brandenburg Airport is now in operation, as the old Schönefeld Airport was yesterday rebranded as Brandenburg Terminal 5. The switchover comes ahead of Berlin Brandenburg’s grand opening next weekend following a decade-long delay.
For the latter part of the past ten years, many have asked the question, “Will Berlin Brandenburg Airport ever open?” Now, with just five days to go until the opening of the new terminal building, it looks more positive than ever before that the airport will finally open its doors.
Schönefeld becomes Brandenburg
Yesterday marked the first day of operations for Berlin Brandenburg Aiport using its BER IATA code. The changeover was planned to coincide with the change from the summer to the winter IATA season. The event didn’t go unnoticed. Indeed, late at night, the airport authority held a big event to switch on the lights of the new “BER Terminal 5” sign on the outside of the terminal. This was similar to a Christmas lights switch-on with an oversized lever triggering the light show.
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As such, while using the exact same physical facilities yesterday, airlines such as Wizz Air, Ryanair, and Pegasus went from flying to Schönefeld to Berlin Brandeburg Terminal 5. Commenting on the switchover, Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, CEO of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH said,
“As of today, the official IATA code BER stands for Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt. Moreover, these three letters also stand for the German capital city and region, as well as for all of eastern Germany. From now on, the three-letter code BER will represent them on flights all over the world.”
The main event is still coming
Of course, the main event is still coming, with Berlin set to have two airports for just under two weeks. On Saturday, October 31st, Berlin’s airport authority will open Terminals 1 and 2 at the airport. This will be marked by a dual landing on the parallel runways at the airport from Lufthansa and easyJet. Simple Flying will be at the airport to report on the day’s festivities.
While Lufthansa will land at the airport on Saturday as part of the celebrations, it won’t begin moving its operations to the new terminal until the following Saturday, November 7th. Until this date, it will continue to use the old Tegel Airport.
Air France will be the last airline to use Berlin’s old Tegel Airport on November 8th. After this final flight, all flights to the city will use Brandeburg Airport. Air France was the natural choice to operate the last flight to the airport, as it was the first airline using the facility all those years ago when it opened.
Are you excited to see Berlin Brandenburg open? Will you miss the Berlin Tegel Airport? Let us know what you think in the comments!