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World Germany: a new airport opens in Berlin, more than eight years late

12:50  31 october  2020
12:50  31 october  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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The saying "better late than never" has never been more apt than for Berlin 's new airport which is finally opening — nearly 10 years behind schedule. The Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), which continues its streak of luck by opening in the middle of a pandemic that has caused travel worldwide

Terminal 1 and the Airport Tower of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), also called "Willy Brandt", ahead of its opening in Schoenefeld near Berlin © Reuters Also named Willy Brandt Airport , after the late West Berlin mayor and West German chancellor, Brandenburg (BER) is located adjacent to

Le nouvel aéroport de Berlin-Brandebourg Willy Brandt ouvre en pleine crise du secteur aérien due au Covid-19. © AP Photo / Markus Schreiber The new Berlin-Brandenburg Willy Brandt airport opens in the midst of the aviation sector crisis due to Covid-19.

He sparked endless jokes. He inspired cartoonists and cabarettists. Some have simply suggested that we shave it off to end it. But today is the big day: Berlin's new major airport opens more than eight years late when - ironically - air traffic is a shadow of itself.

with our correspondent in Berlin, Pascal Thibaut

The first symbolic shovel was done in 2006. BER airport - its international code - was to be inaugurated initially five years later. But the opening must be pushed back in extremis. The fire protection system does not work, emergency doors do not open, the wiring is a disaster, the escalators are too short. The lack of coordination of the companies on the site, the multiple changes during construction partly explain this disaster, with the arrival a bill three times higher than the original.

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Berlin ’s new airport will finally welcome passengers after an eight - year delay, opening its doors just as “No one would build a new airport now,” said Cord Schellenberg, a Hamburg-based aviation The airport ’s history is an embarrassing tale for Germany ’s exalted reputation for punctuality and

Berlin Brandenburg Airport will be the third largest airhub in Germany , behind Frankfurt and Munich. With the opening , at least a line will finally be drawn under a fiasco that seriously If the opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport goes smoothly, only the unfinished Stuttgart 21 will remain as a sore spot.

Frenchman Patrick Müller, in charge of operations, is on his seventh airport opening. The last one was the most difficult. “We're not going to have a big party, because there's no need to have a party when you're eight or nine years behind. What bothers us a lot is that the coronavirus is really giving us a lot of problems. This will force us to send our colleagues on technical unemployment from January if the number of flights and demand do not increase.

Ten million passengers expected in Berlin in 2020

Berlin welcomed 34 million passengers last year. Ten million are expected this year. From the start, Willy-Brandt Airport - its official name - needs new money and needs to save money. One of the terminals will only open at best next year. After the pandemic, however, the new site will provide the German capital with an infrastructure worthy of the name in an expanding region.

Listen: Germany: the new Berlin airport

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