Berlin Brandenburg and Tegel start into transitional week

EasyJet and Lufthansa on their joint first arrival at Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Photo: © Cornelius Grossmann

Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) was inaugurated on October 31st, with November 1st being the first day of ‘regular’ operations.

However, regular does not mean full operations. As the airport is starting its first week of operations, it is also heading into a transitional phase that lasts until the end of the week.

Right now, only a few airlines are using the new airport complex, called Terminal 1 (commonly referred to as just ‘BER’). Most other carriers are still flying to and from Berlin Tegel Airport (IATA: TXL), which closes November 8th.

After EasyJet and Lufthansa performed the two inaugural arrivals at BER on Saturday, October 31st, three airlines moved their operations to the new airport: EasyJet, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways. Lufthansa’s A320neo arrival in a special livery was a one-off event. The German flag-carrier will not fully move to BER until Tegel closes its doors.

Furthermore, the former Berlin Schoenefeld Airport (former IATA: SXF) continues to operate as an additional terminal for Berlin Brandenburg, despite its building dating back to 1976. Schoenefeld was renamed to ‘BER Terminal 5’ and received the ‘BER’ code on October 25th. It is located north of the new airport. A few select low-cost and leisure carriers continue to use T5 for their operations, including Ryanair and Pegasus Airlines.

A list of airlines’ terminal use at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (selected):

  • EasyJet: Moved from TXL and SXF to BER T1 on Nov 1st (first arrivals on Oct 31st)
  • Turkish Airlines: T1 (since Nov 1st)
  • Qatar Airways: T1 (since Nov 1st)
  • SunExpress: T1 (since Nov 4th)
  • Eurowings: T1, using T2 gates (since Nov 4th)
  • Other Lufthansa Group airlines: Moving from TXL to BER T1 on Nov 8th
  • Air France-KLM: Moving from TXL to BER T1 on Nov 8th
  • British Airways: Moving from TXL to BER T1 on Nov 8th
  • SAS Scandinavian Airlines: Moving from TXL to BER T1 on Nov 8th
  • Most other airlines currently at TXL: Moving to BER T1 on Nov 8th
  • Condor: BER T5 (Schoenefeld)
  • Pegasus Airlines: BER T5 (Schoenefeld)
  • Ryanair: BER T5 (Schoenefeld)
  • Wizz Air: BER T5 (Schoenefeld)

This list is subject to change amid the current situation. For up-to-date information on your flight you are advised to check with your airline.

As there are significantly fewer passengers during this ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Terminal 1 is able to fit more airlines compared to normal times. For this reason, the opening of the new Terminal 2, which has a capacity of six million passengers per year and is located right next to Terminal 1, has been pushed back to 2021.

On Wednesday, November 4th, BER will open its southern runway. Lufthansa-owned low-cost carrier Eurowings, which has a major presence at Tegel, is moving to the new airport on that day.

The third and final phase of the move from TXL to BER will be on Sunday, November 8th, when all remaining airlines start flying from Germany’s new capital airport. Saturday is going to be Tegel’s final day with regular flight operations. Only the last flight to Paris Charles-De-Gaulle, operated by Air France, will depart the old airport northwest of the city on Sunday.