Due to the decrease in passenger traffic, Terminal 5 at Berlin Brandenburg Airport bid farewell to the last flight until further notice.
On February 22, 2021, Ryanair Boeing 737-800 flight, number FR1012, took off from Rome’s Ciampino Airport (CIA) and landed in Berlin Airport (BER) Terminal 5 at 12:14pm local time. It was the last flight to arrive at BER Terminal 5.
Terminal 5 of the new BER airport is previously known as Berlin’s Schönefeld Airport. Built in 1976, Schönefeld was meant to be demolished with the opening of the new BER airport. After multiple construction delays, it was decided that Schönefeld would be repurposed and put back into use as Terminal 5 until the planned Terminal 3 would open in 2030. While Terminal 1 has been handling most flights, Terminal 5 remained open for low-cost carriers such as Wizz and Ryanair.
However, the coronavirus crisis has drastically cut the number of passengers traveling through Germany’s airports, including Berlin Brandenburg, which opened in the midst of a pandemic, in October 2020. Thereby, authorities have decided to close Terminal 5 until further notice.
“We’re initially closing for a year, then we’ll decide again,” said the airport spokesperson Hannes Stefan Hönemann. “If things go well, we’ll open the terminal again.”
“This step reduces costs and expenses for the year by about 25 million euros. Terminal 5 will still be promptly available to us if the need arises. The dormant operation is organised in such a way that Terminal 5 can be up and running again within a few weeks when it is needed again,” said Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, the Chief Executive Officer of Berlin Brandenburg Airport.
In 2020, only 30% of passengers have flown to Berlin airports compared to the previous year. Currently only a fifth of the flights are being operated.
In November 2020, after the opening of BER, Berlin Tegel Airport closed after serving for seven decades. In December 2020, it was reopened as a vaccination center against the COVID-19 pandemic.