Travel Berlin Airports in Financial Difficulties

19:45  10 july  2020
19:45  10 july  2020 Source:   tvmovie.de

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In the corona crisis, the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport Company (FBB) has added major construction sites in addition to the planned capital city airport BER.

BER Flughafen-Chef Engelbert Lütke-Daldrup. © Photo: Bernd Settnik / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa BER airport boss Engelbert Lütke-Daldrup.

Flight operations are now recovering at the two locations Schönefeld and Tegel.

However, because travel traffic had almost come to a standstill in the meantime, a financial gap of around 300 million euros opened up. The years of construction delays at BER and the associated costs and loss of revenue would have destroyed all buffers, said airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup after a meeting of the supervisory board.

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Now the company has to make massive savings - in terms of investments and personnel. Most of the employees are already working on short-time work. New hires are suspended until further notice. This also applies to important positions such as the vacant position of the technical manager.

Actually, the supervisory board should decide on the personnel on Friday, but the draft resolution had been withdrawn beforehand, said supervisory board chief Rainer Bretschneider afterwards. "Due to the savings program in the area of ​​investments and personnel, all new hires are being tested," the airport said in the evening to explain.

«That is why the vacant management of construction and technology will not be filled again.» The post has been vacant since the end of May because the previous manager, Carsten Wilmsen, had taken off his hat after less than two years.

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But the crisis could also result in job cuts at the airport. "We want to avoid redundancies, but we have to cut costs," said Lütke Daldrup. The tariff partners must therefore also talk about partial retirement or other solutions. The extent to which jobs may need to be saved was left open.

A few hours earlier, the ground service provider Wisag had announced that it wanted to cut around half of the 1,500 jobs in Berlin due to the crisis. "I hope that socially acceptable solutions will be found for everyone," said Lütke Daldrup of the measure. "It is important to us that the ground handling services owed to the airlines at the airport also take place."

In view of the financial problems, the good news on Friday moved into the background: progress is being made with the planned start-up of BER at the end of October. The main terminal has been ready for a long time. The rehearsals with voluntary extras have been running there since this week.

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They should primarily practice processes such as check-in and security checks. As of Thursday, however, the tests were ended prematurely: someone smoked a cigarette in a cleaning room and thus triggered a fire alarm, said Lütke Daldrup. "It actually meant that what had to happen happened." The smoke extraction system started up, doors opened and the fire brigade was on site within a few minutes.

It was still unclear whether the work on Terminal 2, which should actually be available for the opening, will now be completed. That is still the goal, said Lütke Daldrup. "But we have a very, very tight schedule." In the next few weeks, the so-called active principle tests are due, in which Dekra checks and approves the technology. "We will be able to say in more detail at the end of August whether the date is set," said Lütke Daldrup.

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