Berlin’s airports are on track to add another one million passengers this year, Dr Till Bunse, senior vice president marketing and sales for Berlin Brandenburg Airport, told The HUB. “September was our busiest month ever with over 2.5 million passengers. Thanks to a very strong performance in the first nine months of the year, we now expect around 26 million passengers in 2013 – an all time record.”
Ahead of the release of the official passenger numbers for the third quarter on October 9, 2013, Dr Bunse revealed that nearly 20 million passengers flew in and out of Berlin so far this year – a four per cent increase and way ahead of a German market that currently registers zero growth. Air freight is also up by 3.4 per cent, not least thanks to the new BER Cargo Center that was inaugurated recently.
The key driver is still Berlin Tegel Airport, which accounts for nearly 15 million passengers, an 8 per cent increase compared to last year, while Schönefeld registered a seven per cent decline. “There isn’t a single airline that is responsible for this development, but many carriers who continue to grow their presence in Berlin. For instance, airberlin attracts more and more connecting passengers in Tegel, and easyJet has grown ten per cent in Schönefeld this year,” said Dr Bunse.
“We have seen some great new routes being launched this year, such as Chicago, Florence or Nantes. There are still gaps in our network, and we actively try to grow our long-haul network,” he added. However, domestic routes performed less well this year due to German air passenger duty, he noted. Asked about the impact of the delay of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Dr Bunse said that “it doesn’t help of course, but the Berlin market goes from strength to strength and that’s why the carriers keep adding seat capacity.”