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Berlin Airports well equipped to deal with economic crisis

Berlin also hit by crisis in 2009 / Berlin Airports develops better than the market / Company launches cost-cutting programme / BBI construction work on schedule / Go-ahead given to market BBI Airport City

"The entire aviation industry is faced with a difficult year in light of the global economic crisis", said Dr. Rainer Schwarz, CEO of Berlin Airports, this morning at Berlin Airports' traditional ITB press conference. "Traffic results for the first few months show that the global economic crisis is also leaving its mark on Berlin. With a decline in passengers of six per cent in January and eight per cent in February, each of the Berlin airports are performing three per cent better than the average of all German airports. The growth of recent years is continuing, despite the economic crisis: Berlin is not following the national trend in Germany."

2008: strongest growth amongst all German airports

Last year, Berlin Airports recorded the strongest growth amongst all German airports with a 1.4 million increase in passengers (i.e. seven per cent): 21.4 million passengers were handled at the Capital Airport. Besides Frankfurt am Main and Munich, Berlin is increasingly becoming the third most important national airport location in Germany and currently ranks 15th in Europe.

Schwarz continues: "Berlin Airports is already very well positioned, with over 170 destinations in over 50 countries and impressive long-haul flight offerings. Hainan Airlines launched the new non-stop Berlin-Beijing connection as recently as September 2008. Our future course is clear: the opening of the new Capital Airport BBI on 30 October 2011 will pave the way for further intercontinental flights with attractive connecting flights from Berlin."

Company launches cost-cutting programme

Berlin Airports is well equipped to come out of the crisis stronger. In order to minimise the impact of the global economic crisis on the company, Berlin Airports is launching a cost-cutting programme. An estimated 10 million euros is expected to be saved in material costs in the course of the 2009 financial year.

Berlin Airports is highly diversified

Compared to other German airports, Berlin Airports is highly diversified. Scheduled traffic and low-cost traffic complement each other nicely. The capital region, the former East German states and West Poland represent a large catchment area that is far from exhausted. The German capital Berlin also remains a top tourist attraction. In recent years, Berlin has developed into a modern, international service centre, attracting many national and international industry professionals and business people. Trade fairs and congresses, film and media, research and development, Internet and the aviation industry promise further growth. According to Schwarz: "Berlin is better equipped to cope with this crisis than most European metropolises."

Besides offering very good European connections, Berlin Airports is pushing ahead with the systematic expansion of its long-haul network. In addition to two daily non-stop flights to New York, the current flight schedule of Berlin Airports also includes several flights a week to Bangkok, Doha, Punta Cana, Varadero, Beijing and Ulan Bator. According to Schwarz: "In times of crisis our motto is: maintain and strengthen existing routes. New long-haul acquisitions are only really feasible once the global economy has recovered. BBI offers the necessary capacities for this."

2008: major construction work starts on BBI

2008 saw the start of extensive work on the construction site for the Capital Airport BBI. The start of construction on the passenger terminal in July 2008 represented a key milestone, following the scheduled completion of structural work on the first section of the underground railway station. The opening of the new A113 motorway in May 2008 represented a key step towards connecting BBI to the existing motorway network. Also in 2008, work began on the new 4,000-metre-long south runway. The closure of the inner-city airport Tempelhof on 30 October 2008 was also a key step towards concentrating all air traffic in the Berlin-Brandenburg region on the future BBI.

2009: the face of BBI

Construction work on BBI will continue to progress in 2009. The number of construction workers will double in the course of the year from 1,500 to 3,000. Structural engineering work will soon start on the terminal, the heart of BBI, with a topping-out ceremony in spring 2010. Other work on the new south runway, extending the rail link and the underground railway station, building the aprons, the taxiways and the road link is all running according to schedule and within budget.

Go-ahead for BBI Airport City

The go-ahead for marketing property at BBI Airport City has been given at the world's largest commercial property trade show MIPIM, which is currently being held in Cannes. Measuring approximately 16 hectares, the site is characterised by its premium location right in front of the terminal. To begin with, a hotel, office building and cargo building are being advertised.

Construction site marketing: we build, you watch

Those wanting to witness the progress being made on the BBI construction site first hand can take advantage of the wide variety of information offered by Berlin Airports. A webcam transmits new images every hour from the construction site to the website of Berlin Airports. Visitors on site can enjoy the breathtaking view of Europe's biggest airport construction site from the 32-metre-high BBI Infotower. The popular tours of the construction site run by Berlin Airports start right on the construction site grounds and can be booked Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. by calling +49 30 6091-2250. Tours cost 10 euros per person. A reduced price of 5 euros per person is available for groups of children and students. Information on group rates can be obtained by telephone. Note: registration by telephone is essential for all tours! Online bookings will also be possible shortly.

The airport becomes an auditorium

In cooperation with the employment office in Potsdam, Berlin Airports is offering students in the capital region the opportunity to gain an insight into the varied world of work in an airport environment with a series of BBI Campus lectures. The lectures also give students the chance to consult with and profit directly from the know-how and experience of the airport and aviation experts. The lectures are offered as early as the second semester in April. This time round, students from the University of Potsdam can really profit from the programme: for the first time, performance points may be awarded as part of the "StudiumPlus" programme.

Flughafen Berlin-Schoenefeld GmbH
Press Office
Ralf Kunkel
Phone +49 30 6091-2055
Fax +49 30 6091-1643