Tegel may even be closed prematurely due to the corona crisis. So far, the city airport should be closed from November 8, 2020, if the BER airport actually starts on October 31, 2020, to which those responsible stick. But Tegel is already like a ghost airport.
It was Rainer Bretschneider, head of the supervisory board of the Berlin, Brandenburg and federal airport company (FBB), who is now in a telephone switching conference with the BER Special committee of the Brandenburg state parliament because of the dramatic slump in air traffic has not ruled out the closure of one of the two Berlin airports. The man, not known for thoughtless utterances, addressed this on his own initiative. “That will be decided in the next few days and weeks,” he said. One is in consultation with the aviation authorities, which alone can decide on a closure.
Because there is an operating obligation for Tegel and Schönefeld. “The FBB will be in close contact with its shareholders,” said the Berlin Senate Finance Administration responsible for the airport on request. “No closure is currently planned.” An estimate of when a closure could be inevitable cannot be given “at the present time.”
According to Bretschneider, only ten percent of the current rate in Tegel and Schönefeld previously handled normal traffic, last week it was 25 percent. Lufthansa, Easyjet and Ryanair have essentially discontinued air traffic. Individual flights that are still arriving or leaving are to be handled in the secondary terminal C in Tegel. Since Schönefeld-Alt is to remain in operation parallel to BER anyway until 2030, it would amount to the closure of a Berlin airport on Tegel.
“Now is the right time”
There are voices from politics, so you don’t have to wait any longer . So Daniel Buchholz, SPD traffic expert in the House of Representatives demanded: “Tegel Airport should be closed immediately. Now is the right time. ”And the acute financial problems are increasing the pressure.
The airport company, which is already writing deep red numbers because of BER, is getting because of the corona slump in liquidity needs . On Tuesday, the company applied to the employment office for short-time benefits for the approximately 2,200 employees. The FBB is to increase the statutory short-time work allowance of 60 percent of the net salary to 80 percent, for single parents to 90 percent.
Bretschneider put the losses due to the corona pandemic at “more than one hundred million euros” , to a “small three-digit million amount or more”. Lütke Daldrup has already asked for support from the owners who are ready to do so. The FBB is affected like all airlines in Germany and worldwide, said the financial administration: “The state of Berlin, like the other two shareholders, ensures liquidity.” It is a “critical infrastructure”.
The airport company is missing almost 800 million euros
However, the Corona emergency aid is only a fraction of what the FBB wants from the public sector. Another 792 million euros are missing, without which the FBB would not make ends meet after the BER launch in 2025. Last week, the management and the supervisory board found that the sum was to be raised on the capital market through loans from the shareholders and half through unsecured loans. Berlin and Brandenburg would then have to contribute 146 million euros each in addition to the Corona aid.
Brandenburg’s Finance Minister Katrin Lange (SPD) reacted cautiously: “As shareholders, we still have a few questions. Answers are still pending. “