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Berlin Airport Aims for Passenger Growth Amid Aviation Recovery

Published January 01, 2024
7 months ago

The chief executive of Berlin Airport (BER), Aletta von Massenbach, has provided an optimistic forecast for the airport's passenger traffic, expecting an 8% increase in 2024. This projection is part of the airport’s plan to continue its post-pandemic recovery following a tumultuous launch during the height of COVID-19.

Despite opening its doors amid the global aviation industry turmoil on October 31, 2020, after facing extensive delays, Berlin Airport has been steadily working towards achieving the passenger levels of its predecessors, the old Tegel and Schoenefeld airports. Von Massenbach, in an interview with Reuters, shared insights into the ongoing recovery process, suggesting that the combined 2019 passenger volume from the two previous airports, which stood at 35.65 million, could be matched by the end of this decade.

In the year 2023, Berlin Airport successfully hit its target with approximately 23 million passengers, which marked a notable increase of 3 million from the previous year. Von Massenbach expressed contentment with BER's progress, highlighting the significant strides the airport has made since its opening.

Nonetheless, the CEO raised concerns about the present situation of air traffic in Germany, which has not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels as seen in other parts of the world. According to von Massenbach, high state taxes and fees have had a significant impact, prompting airlines to reduce services in Germany. This factor primarily affects low-cost carriers, which are particularly sensitive to changes in operational costs. Budget airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet have already scaled back their operations in the country, citing the high airport fees.

BER’s management foresees a brighter future for the airport, aiming for nearly 24.8 million travelers in 2024 as the aviation sector gradually overcomes the repercussions of the pandemic. The airport is taking a pragmatic approach to its growth, acknowledging the challenges within the German market while focusing on strengthening its position as a key aviation hub in Europe.

With attention to its financial health and competitive fee structure, Berlin Airport could once again elevate itself to become a bustling center for both domestic and international travel, in line with pre-pandemic levels. As it stands, the airport's trajectory seems promising, and with proactive strategies, it may well achieve its ambitious passenger goals in the upcoming years.

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