14 JANUARY 2013
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Schönefeld looks like staying the name of Willie Brandt Berlin International Airport for some time.
The grandiose expansion scheme, part of the same site, has again slipped with a completion date of March 2014 now being suggested. Problems have occurred including fire safety.
In the meantime Schönefeld, as is, soldiers on, offering a railway station and a limited number of services with easyJet, Norwegian, Ryanair and Skyworks as resident carriers. It has excellent train services to downtown Berlin. To confuse travellers even more the Schönefeld website now calls itself ‘Berlin Brandenburg’.
Berlin’s existing airport Tegel, and in particular its airline customers, is suffering as nobody knows quite what is happening, and what route structure will work in 2014. For staff no job security. The airport is within the city limits but has no rail connections, passengers having to rely on buses, taxis or private cars.
The real lesson is the needless premature closure of Tempelhof, Berlin’s third airport. It could have served as a useful backup during the changeover. www.berlin-airport.de
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