Berlin’s airports handle record passenger traffic in 2011

GERMANY. Berlin’s major airports, Tegel and Schoenefeld, posted +7.7% growth in their combined passenger numbers in 2011, compared to a year earlier. The overall figure of 24 million was a new annual record and outstripped the German national average of +4.3% in 2011, said airport authority Berlin Airports.

The result means Berlin Airports consolidates its position in third place in the ranking of German commercial airports (behind Frankfurt and Munich) and is expected to increase its market share to more than 12% overall.

Tegel Airport became the city’s growth driver in 2011, with a total of 16,919,467 passengers, up by +12.6%.

The introduction of an aviation tax had a negative impact on Schoenefeld Airport. It recorded a total of 7,113,989 passengers in 2011, -2.5% fewer than in the previous year.

Tegel and Schoenefeld combined recorded 242,961 aircraft movements last year (+3.3%).

Berlin Brandenburg Airport CEO Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarz said: “2011 was another record year. 24 million passengers provide further momentum for the opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt [which opens in June – Ed]. This traffic result far exceeds the original targets set for the opening year – and that’s before the airport even goes into operation.”

Traffic figures in detail
The biggest volumes by destination were on domestic flights to Munich (1,912,885 passengers; +5.2%) and European flights to London (1,362,771 passengers; +6.3%). Amsterdam was the biggest growth market last year from Berlin though from a smaller base (+181,892 passengers; +42.1%). The most popular long-haul route flown in 2011 was New York (233,355 passengers; +12.0%).

The biggest percentage increase in domestic traffic was recorded on the Frankfurt route (+11.4%). Around two-thirds of all 1,794,173 passengers used Frankfurt Airport solely as a transfer point – primarily to destinations in North America. This confirms the general increase in demand for flights to North America, said Berlin Airports.

The biggest regional market was European traffic: a total of 14,834,183 passengers (+13.7%). There was a +7.2% rise in traffic on routes outside Europe, with the biggest increases on the airport’s 13 long-haul flights: up +36.3% to 703,781 passengers. With 8,022,635 passengers, the demand for domestic flights was down on the year by -1.9%.

In December 2011, a total of 1,792,663 passengers used the capital’s two big airports (+11.1% more than in the same month the previous year). Most of these travelled via Tegel, which reported a +17.7% increase.

Outlook for 2012
The opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt on 3 June 2012 marks “the dawn of a new era in air traffic in the capital region,” noted Berlin Airports.

Dr Schwarz said: “Our three biggest airline partners – airberlin, Lufthansa and easyJet – will significantly increase their activities. The people of Berlin and Brandenburg can look forward to a total of around 40 new non-stop flights in the months to come. Air traffic in the capital region will remain a stable growth market.”

New destinations include Milan-Linate and Beirut (Lufthansa, from 9 January and 3 June 2012 respectively), Rhodes and Mykonos (easyJet, from 23 and 24 June 2012 respectively), Leeds (, from 1 June 2012), Trondheim and Aalborg (Norwegian, from 28 March and 4 May 2012 respectively) as well as new long-haul routes with airberlin to Abu Dhabi (from 15 January 2012) and Los Angeles (from 11 May 2012).

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