Berlin’s long-awaited new airport will have to close one of its terminals next year, just months after serviced launched there, a spokesperson said on Monday.
Terminal 5 is to be decommissioned from March, initially for one year, a spokesperson for the BER airport operator confirmed.
He cited the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused passenger numbers to plummet, as a reason for the move.
Travellers may recognize Terminal 5 as Schoenefeld Airport, as it was formerly known, before the 70s-era site was incorporated into the adjacent BER airport complex on the south-eastern outskirts of Berlin.
Terminal 1 was opened on October 31, following a nine-year delay and a tripling of the project’s original 2-billion-euro budget.
Terminal 5 was initially to stay open for a number of years, since passenger demand was expected to exceed the new infrastructure’s capacity – until the pandemic hit.
BER is currently catering to around a fifth of the anticipated number of planes and a 10th of flyers, according to its state-backed owner.
Berlin airport boss Engelbert Luetke Daldrup is expected to present his plan for Terminal 5 to the supervisory board on Friday.
BER in fact has three terminals, but Terminal 2 is to remain closed for now due to the crisis. It is unclear when it will be launched.