Berlin’s long-overdue Brandenburg Airport has this week adopted the airport identifier code of BER ahead of its transition to become the city’s primary air gateway. The airport’s switchover from the previous three-letter code, SXF, is a crucial milestone ahead of this weekend’s opening of the new US$3.1 billion German facility.
With the opening of BER on 31 October, all flight operations in the German capital region will be concentrated at one airport. The existing facilities at Schönefeld Airport (was SXF) will continue to operate, now as BER Terminal 5.
This week the first train services to Brandenburg Airport have also commenced allowing for convenient, fast and environmentally friendly access. The six-track, three platform Flughafen BER – Terminal 1-2 station is located beneath Terminal 1 and offers a direct link to trains and S-Bahn services. Starting today [29 October 2020], the S-Bahn will be in full operation to BER, with two lines operating every 20 minutes.
On 1 November 2020, easyJet shall be the first airline to depart from Terminal 1. Additionally, flights from Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines will no longer depart from Berlin Tegel (TXL), but BER.
From 4 November, Eurowings and Vueling shall cease to depart from Tegel, and instead do so from BER Terminal 1. Ryanair, SunExpress and Sundair shall relocate from Tegel to Terminal 5, while Belavia, Georgian Airways, Egyptair and Norwegian shall move from Terminal 5 to Terminal 1.
Tegel’s last commercial flights are scheduled for 7 November. The first flights from Lufthansa will land at BER T1 that same evening.
With the third and final relocation wave, the following airlines shall also begin operating at BER Terminal 1: Aegean Airlines, Aer Lingus, airBaltic, Air France, Air Malta, Air Serbia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Danish Air Transport, Finnair, Iberia Express, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Luxair, SAS, Swiss, TAP Portugal.
Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, CEO of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg, says: “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. 30 years after the reunification of Germany, BER also stands for the end of the fragmentation of air traffic into several locations and for a transformed metropolitan region.”
On 25 October, at a small reception with political and business representatives from the airport’s surrounding area, the previous lettering on the roof of the terminal building was handed over to the Municipality of Schönefeld. The new lettering “BER Terminal 5” was then officially inaugurated.
The terminal sections of T5 were renamed to K, L, M, Q as early as the end of March in order to avoid duplicate names at BER. Signage throughout the terminal was also adapted to the overall BER look and feel. In addition, the terminal areas were completely renovated, and new security control equipment was installed. Terminal 5 has sufficient capacity to handle eight to 10 million passengers a year.
Berlin Brandenburg Airport was originally slated to open in 2011.
Image credit: Berlin Brandenburg Airport