Topic Author
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What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Tue Dec 05, 2000 10:46 pm

One of the largest cities in Europe, and no one can run a profitable transatlantic route from here?

Why not? Is it simply because of years of cold war infrastructure setting FRA up as the primary hub? or do Berliners never go to North America?

Finally, are there any US-Berlin flights currently operating? I'm trying to set up my vacation. Thanks, -Mark
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
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RE: What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Tue Dec 05, 2000 11:06 pm

I have no idea what was/is currently operating to the US, but LH are launching daily filghts from Berlin to either JFK or Washington next year using the A340. non-stop as well.
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RE: What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Tue Dec 05, 2000 11:08 pm

Lufthansa will start a new flight Berlin - Washington in March 2001 (A340; 11.30 Berlin - 13.45 Washington). The last years no airline had success with dircect flights. Lufthansa will try again.
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RE: What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Tue Dec 05, 2000 11:42 pm

In fact, one should consider that te industry concentration in Berlin is rather low or at least not in line with the several million inhabitants living in the now undited Berlin and it's surroundings.
Many Airlines have ever since tried to establish transatlantic flights our of 'Non_Hub' cities like FRA and MUC. The only significant intercontinental flights other than ex FRA are currently being offered out of DUS (CO flies to EWR for instance, and LH to NYC) and MUC.

Some other US Carriers do have some direct flightts to some non-hub airports, like Delta is flying with 763 to ATL-STR (Stuttgart)
In General, one should consider following points:

- The geographical situation of the German cities which is quite close, not like in the US for example.

- The volume of Continental Traffic is not always enough to justify a daily operation. In cases where airlines fly less than daily (it has been the case many many times before!) Airlines have soon discovered that their highest potential of business travellers will most probably opt for the connection flights via the airlines main hub (where same destiantion is flown at higher frequency) for the sake of travel flexibility. In the case if Berlin, you have a huge leisure potential but an unequal buisness travel at the same time. Contrary to DUS for example where you have the biggest population concentration in Germany and at the same time huge business travel due to present industries.

Of course now the is a new situation with Berlin becoming the capital of Germany and many goverment institutions shifting overthere. It will be a try to see the comeout of the Washington operation offered by LH.

To make a long stoy short, the vital success of any continental operation to Berlin will depend on the ration of premium travel you can get! Filling Coach out of Berlin shouldn't be a problem, but at the end of the day only Money counts, this is what civil aviation is about  
I personally, and from an economical point of view, think that such operations are too risky and crutial.


The Ticketor
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RE: What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Tue Dec 05, 2000 11:58 pm

Very interesting observation, and Amir had some good reasons why. Luftwaffe, eh... Lufthansa has an extremely strong position in Germany, almost a monopoly, so the best connections are with LH (codeshare with UA), but you might be able to get a better deal with BA or SR for example. Kind of hard to give you any further details without knowing where you are going from.
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RE: What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Wed Dec 06, 2000 3:14 am

What are each of the three airports there used for? I was looking at pictures and there are wide array of airlines and airplanes at all three. Which one is the busiest and which is the main international one? Are they building one large airport that will phase out all three? Does Lufthansa use all three? What airport will Lufthansa fly from to the U.S.?

RE: What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Wed Dec 06, 2000 4:16 am

tegel and tempelhof are used for german and european flights, i don't know if there's any difference between the two. schonefeld is used for intercontinental flights, SQ used to fly 744s into schonefeld for instance but the route was pulled what, 2 yrs ago?
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RE: What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Wed Dec 06, 2000 4:48 am

According to the Berlin Airport System web sites I saw a while ago, Schoenofild is currently being expanded, due 2002?

And I thought that Tempelhoff is going to be closed in forseeable future; it is considered as dangerous due to short runway and lots of tall buildings in surrounding area.


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RE: What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Wed Dec 06, 2000 5:02 am

It is, as stated before, quite natural that when a daily service is too much, then passengers are attracted by a flights which involve a transfer at a major hub.
Berlin has difficulties developing into a hub since it has three not too large ariports. The new Schoenefeld may change that in the future. You know, you can't have a hub without ample space for feeders too.
best regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
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RE: What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Wed Dec 06, 2000 7:56 am

Tempelhof is a very old airport of Berlin. In the 50th and 60th it was the gateway from West-Berlin to the world. But soon there was no capacity and Tegel was built.

Today Tegel is the main gateway in Berlin but as aviation worldwide is growing, Tegel is at the end of capacity in the meantime.

Tempelhof is a very central positioned airport and is used today by small planes to carry tradesmen from europe towns to Berlin.

Schönefeld is the old East-Berlin airport. Today it´s used by airlines from Russia, Ukraine etc., it´s used for for long-range-flights (Sri Lankan) and for holiday-flights.

It will be built to "Berlin-Brandenburg International" with a capacity of about 20 Mio. passengers a year. BBI should play the same rule as MUC in the german aviation market. Tegel will be closed at the same time.

As mentioned, the 3 "little" airports of Berlin aren´t able to get a hub-function.

If Berlin-Brandenburg will be opened, this will change.

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RE: LH In Berlin

Wed Dec 06, 2000 11:57 pm


Lufthansa regained permission to fly to Berlin in 1990.
Their own aircraft only go to TXL Tegel.
Condor, in which they own a 55% stake has large holiday operations in SXF Schoenefeld (by the way, SXF is not in the Land of Berlin but in the Land of Brandenburg). Condor´s subsidiary Condor Berlin is based at SXF; it was established in order to pay less wages to the crews because, being based in SXF, Condor Berlin is an East German company.
The only flights at THF Tempelhof which bear an LH number are four daily Team LH flights (operated by Cirrus Airlines) to Mannheim (Dash 8-100 and Do 328). These flights were established this summer schedule (well, they were there before but didn´t have the LH number).

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RE: What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Thu Dec 07, 2000 12:12 am

Tegel was built as an emergency measure during the Soviet blocade of Berlin. Allied engineers and 17,000 Berliners began construction on September 5, 1948. Luckily, they had a lot of rubble to crush and lay the runway base with. The first incoming flight to Tegel, a C-34, landed on November 5, 1948. It's a shame to close Tegel- it's a tribute to one of the shining moments in the history of Berlin.

Didn't Delta run an A310 to TXL for a while?
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
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RE: What Is The Deal With Berlin?

Thu Dec 07, 2000 4:07 am

By the way, there were actually four airports in Berlin, one in each allied sector:
Tempelhof THF - US
Tegel TXL - French
Schoenefeld SXF - Soviet
Gatow GWW - UK

However, Gatow was never used for civil operations.

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Airports In Berlin (VERY Long)

Thu Dec 07, 2000 6:48 am


As some of you already stated, Berlin currently has 3 airports : Tegel (TXL), Tempelhof (THF) and Schönefeld (SXF).

Tegel is the main airport and reaches about 10 Million passengers per year, which is by far exceeding the airport infrastructure. Main user of TXL is Lufthansa (to German domestic and European destinations, using ATR-42, Dash8 and ERJ-145 of Team Lufthansa, Canadair Jets, Avro 85 (LH Cityline), B737, A319/20/21 and A300, the latter on the TXL-Frankfurt route. Other airlines include Deutsche BA (B737), British Airways (B757, 767 and A320 to Heathrow, Embraer 145 to Manchester and B737-500 to Birmingham), Air France (737, A320), KLM Cityhopper (Fokker 70), Austrian Airlines (Fokker 70, A320, MD-87), Swissair (A320), Finnair (MD80, A320), SAS (Saab 2000, DC-9), Alitalia (Azurra Avro 70), Alpi Eagles (Fokker 100 to Venice and Naples), Olympic (B717 to Thessaloniki and Athens) plus several others. The only (scheduled) long range flights out of Tegel that I am currently aware of are from Royal Jordanian (A310/320) to Amman and from Iranair (A300) to Tehran, plus the new Lufthansa A340 to Washington next spring.
Besides the scheduled traffic, Tegel has also lots of charter flights, mainly with LTU, Condor, Germania, Aero Lloyd and Air Berlin.
In the past years Delta used to fly to JFK with an A310, either nonstop (then the aircraft came from Warsaw) or with a stop in Copenhagen. If my memory serves me well, Delta also flew the 767 via Hamburg to Atlanta, but these services were ceased due to the reasons Amir has pointed out in his reply to this thread.
While the normal Terminal is on the South side of the apron, on the opposite side you find the old terminal, which now serves as terminal for the German government VIP flights... so you will see Luftwaffe A310-300's and Cabadair Challengers there quite often.

Tempelhof is a superbly located city centre airport, being just a few minutes away from all the businesses in town. Therefore mainly businesspeople prefer to fly to THF, which reaches around 1 Million passengers per year. Airlines at THF are Eurowings (ATR and BAe 146) on domestic and European routes, Sabena (Avro RJ100, RJ85, Boeing 737) to Brussels, Crossair Saab 2000 and Avro100 to Basle and Geneva, Luxair Fokker 50 to Luxembourg, Team Lufthansa Dash8 to Augsburg, Mannheim and Karlsruhe, Do 328 to Mannheim, and several other operators. Lufthansa used to fly props and Canadair jets out of Tempelhof, but they moved their ops to tegel in 1995, SAS flew the Fokker 50 from Copenhagen to THF and also moved to Tegel where it was eventually replaced by Team Lufthansa/Cimber Air ATR's. Now, that TXL is overcrowded, LH is even thinking to come back to THF....

THF was opened in 1921, the current buildings were started in 1936, but the main departure hall was finished in 1960 due to the destructions of WW2. The building is still the biggest building in Europe, the arc of the hangars and covered apron (the aircraft in the first row park under a roof!!) is 1200m long......
There have been plans to close THF by 2000 in favor of the new big airport at Schönefeld, but thank god THF is still alive, and I really hope this unique and valuable businessminded airport will stay active!!! Closing such a jewel would just cause headshaking and laughter by the operators of other central airports like Stockholm Bromma or London City....

Schönefeld is due to become the main airport of Berlin. It is located in Brandenburg, about a 30min train drive from the Eastern City centre. Originally used by Interflug, Aeroflot and all the Eastern carriers plus several flights from the West like Austrian, KLM, Finnair etc., it serves now mainly the charter airlines like Condor, LTU, Fly FTI, Condor berlin, germania etc etc. plus scheduled services to Moscow (Aeroflot), Kiev (Ukraine International), Minsk (belavia), St. Petersburg (uh forgot the name... TU134-Operator) and other Eastern destinations, also Virgin Express flies from there to Brussels, London Stansted and Rome.
There used to be scheduled longhaul flights to Beirut (MEA 707, A310 or 747), Peking (Air China 767), Pjöngjang (Air Koryo IL62), Singapore (SQ 747-300 via Zurich), Toronto (Air Canada 767) and several other destinations, but except Syrian Air's A320 to Damascus and the new Srilankan A330 to Dubai and Colombo, everything else on the longhaul is just charter.
SXF has a total of (I guess) 1.5 million passengers per year.

Gatow, as mentioned by Airsicknesbag, was in fact used for a short time for the European and German flights of BEA British European Airways, a predecessor of BA, but early in the 1950's these flights were routed to THF. In Tegel, before the current airport opened in 1974, you could already find Air France's Caravelle flights, because the early caravelle's had no reverse thrust and the landing with the parachute was to long for THF....

Well, I could continue forever here (maybe because aviation in my former hometown Berlin is one of my favorite topics..), but I think this should be enough for the moment.....  

Best regards,


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