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CARST
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Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:34 pm

For the past two decades, all Lufthansa CEOs, including the current CEO Carsten Spohr, have all said, they are fine with Berlin closing all airports once the delay-plagued BER opens. He now changed his stance on the matter.

While many critics and the majority of the people in Berlin were in favour of keeping TXL (Berlin-Tegel in the Northwest of the city) open, even after BER opens, the local politicians of Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg, as well as Lufthansa always argued that one airport is enough for the city and that they want to focus all flying on BER.

For the people not familar with the matter, BER is on the same site as the current SXF = Berlin-Schönefeld, on the Southeast border of the city. BER is delayed since now 7 years (actually more like 8 going by the original schedule), because of a lot of problems with the new terminal buildings. The problems are mostly safety related and include the smoke ventilation system, wrongly and unprofessionally layed wiring in the walls, as well as a problem with the train station under the airport. The local politcians created a "law" which forces TXL to close no later than 180 days after the first aircraft operates from BER (current SXF).

While saying he wants BER to stay open, he's also said a few other things about the Berlin airports:

On BER & TXL in the future:
- He's sceptical that BER will be able to handle the higher passenger numbers we have now in the city
- He's sure the growth of the passenger volume in Germany, especially in Berlin will continue
- He says Lufthansa's customers and the public now DEMAND that closure of TXL get's reevaluated considering the way higher passenger numbers compared to the time when they started constructing BER in 2006 (and to the time it was planned in the late 90s / early 2000s)

On TXL right now:
- He's very unhappy with the current status of TXL and says the airport is in a intolerable condition
- The whole technical equipment in TXL is old and outdated
- Especially the equipment for security controls is ancient and it's now acceptable how long it takes for passengers to clear the security in TXL (I think he's mainly speaking about the A terminal where LH operates)
- He says, that he has seen queues of up to 100 meters at some gates where A321s and lager aircraft operate and says this can't be tolerated anymore
- He and Lufthansa won't keep quiet on the matter from now on and they want to force the city of Berlin and the state of Brandenburg (who co-own the airports) to invest into TXL again


BER is currently supposed to open for the winter flightplan 2020/2021, thus in the autumn of 2020. Personally I hope Spohr uses his power to change the mind of our local politicians. The people of Berlin even voted in a majority to keep the airport open, but the vote is not binding for our politicians and they didn't change their mind so far. And I don't see them changing it. But still. this is quiet big news and I hope Spohr has more success than the people of Berlin with their public vote...

Sources in German:
https://www.n-tv.de/wirtschaft/Spohr-ae ... 13495.html
https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/berl ... 72808.html
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:38 pm

Perhaps LH should make a big investment to fix the intolerable conditions at TXL...if they want it to remain open.
 
Flying-Tiger
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:44 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
Perhaps LH should make a big investment to fix the intolerable conditions at TXL...if they want it to remain open.


Different to Franfurt Terminal 1 and Munich Terminal 2 Lufthansa doesn´t own terminal space at TXL. That´s the airport company in state´s hands if I remember correct. Thus it´s up to them, not the carrier(s).

I can only welcome such a change of mind, good news for Berlin frommy point of view.
Flown: A319/320/321,A332/3,A343/346, A359, A380,AT4,AT7,B712, B732/3/4/5/7/8/9,B742/4,B752/3, B762/763,B772/77W,CR2/7/9/K,ER3/4,E70/75/90/95, F50/70/100,M11,L15,SF3,S20, AR8/1, 142/143,... 330.860 miles and counting.
 
Noshow
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:00 pm

A logical position as BER is far from open and will be to small whenever it opens. If ever.

Plus Lufthansa has Frankfurt and MUC as their hubs and splitting Berlin's traffic into two airports might weaken it and prevent it from possibly becoming somebody elses competing hub.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:12 pm

Noshow wrote:
A logical position as BER is far from open and will be to small whenever it opens. If ever.


More importantly: as long TXL is open, BER can't open. The operating license for the latter is tied in to the former closing.

Wanting to keep TXL open requires a whole new "Planfeststellungsverfahren", 10 years is a conservative estimate for that.

So, this has about the same chance as reopening Tempelhof.

CARST wrote:
Personally I hope Spohr uses his power to change the mind of our local politicians. The people of Berlin even voted in a majority to keep the airport open, but the vote is not binding for our politicians and they didn't change their mind so far. And I don't see them changing it


Local politicians have no say in this. The federal government would need to change a ton of laws to make that happen, and convince a bunch of courts the new laws are legal. Since those laws would strive to circumvent a system that largely is in place because of court rulings..... good luck with that.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
SeanM1997
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:25 pm

Will Schonefeld be kept open once Brandenburg opens? Schonefeld serves airlines such as Ryanair whilst Brandenburg can serve legacy carriers. Would mean, passengers can access both services in the same area, and practically be just separate terminals over different airports
 
FatCat
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:09 pm

SeanM1997 wrote:
Will Schonefeld be kept open once Brandenburg opens? Schonefeld serves airlines such as Ryanair whilst Brandenburg can serve legacy carriers. Would mean, passengers can access both services in the same area, and practically be just separate terminals over different airports

No, if I undestand it correctly.
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ricport
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:11 pm

It's shocking to see the Germans throw good money after bad at BER. they'd be wise to simply cut their losses, bulldoze the place & rebuild.

As far as TXL, they'd have to bulldoze most, if not all of that, as well. Most of TXL is like MCI & most of the DFW terminals here in the states, with little room between the entrance & security. With the sh!tshow that is BER, the Germans seem to be reaching crunch time: do they continue to try to fix the unfixable at BER, do they bulldoze & start over again, or do they just scrap it entirely & concentrate on improving TXL? The clock is ticking...
 
raylee67
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:09 pm

If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and there is no restriction on how it is used, no one would use BER.

BER will become YMX, unless TXL is restricted to serve limited routes, such as restrictions put on LIN, LGA, DAL, HND (initially when NRT opened) and SHA.
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Thibault973
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:57 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
Perhaps LH should make a big investment to fix the intolerable conditions at TXL...if they want it to remain open.


While super practical, TXL has to be the worst airport in "the western world" I've ever flown to and from. No rapid transit, hours to get your luggage after landing and an horrible horrible and crowed layount. The worst.
 
superjeff
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:16 pm

Thibault973 wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:
Perhaps LH should make a big investment to fix the intolerable conditions at TXL...if they want it to remain open.


While super practical, TXL has to be the worst airport in "the western world" I've ever flown to and from. No rapid transit, hours to get your luggage after landing and an horrible horrible and crowed layount. The worst.


I would have to agree with you. Very depressing airport. And security absolutely sucks. Having said that, I wonder if BER will ever be finished.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:29 pm

raylee67 wrote:
If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and there is no restriction on how it is used, no one would use BER.

BER will become YMX, unless TXL is restricted to serve limited routes, such as restrictions put on LIN, LGA, DAL, HND (initially when NRT opened) and SHA.

I think there is room for two airports.
Compare Montreal and Berlin:
Population of greater metropolitan area: ~4 million vs ~6 million
Area: ~350 km² vs ~900 km²
Current number of passengers: ~18 million vs ~33 million
Hub of an airline: YES (Air Canada) vs NO (since Airberlin's bankruptcy)

At the same time, TXL has only 2 very close runways while YUL has two widely spaced parallel runways and crosswind runway. TXL is surrounded by the city on most sides so it can't easily expand, while BER/SXF have the room to do so (although BER is too small today to handle 33 million passengers). TXL's runways are also relatively short, which could limit long haul flights, and the shorter runway does not have high-speed taxiways, which reduces it's landing capacity.
Also note that about 25% of all passengers at TXL travel only to or from the top 10 destinations, all of which are in Germany or its immediate neighbors.
 
Blerg
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:37 pm

Makes sense now that AB is out of the way and when they probably got a lot of slots they wanted/needed. Why should they want to switch to another venue where their competition will have easier access. Isn't that what they are doing in MUC as well?
 
Airdolomiti
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:07 pm

If LH wants to improve waiting times for check-in, as well, they should do away with the recently introduced centralised desks in terminal B and go back to individual desks at each gate like everyone else does in terminal A. It’s pretty much the only real advantage of operating from TXL.

Thibault973 wrote:
While super practical, TXL has to be the worst airport in "the western world" I've ever flown to and from. No rapid transit, hours to get your luggage after landing and an horrible horrible and crowed layount. The worst.


No, I think that title belongs to Schönefeld. I hate flying from that airport with a passion, and I’m actually quite happy that U2 has moved the services I use most frequently (VCE, ZRH and for the most part also MXP) to TXL.

As for TXL, it’s certainly not worthy of a major Western city, much less the capital of Germany, but it’s fantastic when I have to fly on business, as long as my flight departs from terminal A: my personal record for an early morning flight is 57 minutes from waking up at home to taking my seat onboard (including a 25-minute taxi ride) - only made possible by the short distance from kerb to gate. Occasionally there may be longer waiting times at security, but that doesn’t really matter much if everyone in the queue is on your same flight anyway.

This doesn’t apply to terminals C and D, obviously.
 
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DominikR83
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:23 pm

SeanM1997 wrote:
Will Schonefeld be kept open once Brandenburg opens? Schonefeld serves airlines such as Ryanair whilst Brandenburg can serve legacy carriers. Would mean, passengers can access both services in the same area, and practically be just separate terminals over different airports

BER and SXF are the exact same airport.BER will "only " be an expansion of SXF. But as this expansion is a tripling of the airport size, it is handled as new airport.
Currently SXF has a small terminal and one runway. The expansion includes a second runway(already built and finished) and a huge new terminal which will be used as main terminal.
As per my info the current SXF terminal will be used as terminal for all the LCC`s once the big main terminal is opened.

The idea of having two airports in Berlin is not that bad and everybody knows that the capacity of BER will not be enough once it opens.So they should either now already start with an expansion(the plans therefore already exist) or leave TXL open to be able to offer enough capacity.
The only problem is that one needs billions of dollars to refurbish TXL completely.At the moment the terminals are way to small.These terminals were planned and constructed before the security checks became mandatory.So they had to squeeze the security check areas into the exisiting buildings.(cause there was no space to expand the terminals to the landside or airside).
This made the space betweeen entrance and security checkpoint very small and also the gate waiting areas are way too small for an 320 or 321.
As the plans for BER do already exist for 25 years there were no real big investments done at TXL cause the airport should be closed already.
 
aviationaware
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:44 pm

Keeping TXL open after BER opens (if that ever happens) would be a disaster. As long as TXL is open, airlines will try to realize the premium that is to be charged for the closer proximity to the airport and BER will remain the evil stepmother.

This will be MXP but worse since BER won't have a hubbed airline now that AB is gone that will at least get some baseline traffic through it. Just does not work.
 
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william
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:52 pm

Why is the new Berlin airport 7 years late?
 
YYZLGA
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:29 pm

It's surprising that LH ever supported BER. A split airport arrangement would be ideal for them. They could keep serving Berlin primarily through feeder flights to MUC and FRA. Their proximity to the city centre would retain an advantage over any airline trying to actually establish a major Berlin operation with direct flights to many locations.
 
Blerg
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:01 am

If they keep TXL open then they will create the same scenario as MXP and LIN.
 
cityshuttle
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:08 am

Since Lufthansa never cared about Berlin and developing it any further than hub-connections to FRA and MUC ... even cut EW routes to only a few domestic smaller cities and a handful EU destinations ... nobody of the airport management should give a d**n about a statement of a LH CEO in regards to BER / TXL / SXF.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:11 am

Nobody wants additional air traffic in Germany, so if growth can not happen, this is good.
 
PanHAM
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:09 am

seahawk wrote:
Nobody wants additional air traffic in Germany, so if growth can not happen, this is good.


I am a real Person and I do want that the aviation industry gets the needed infrastructure so that they can handle the growth. Growth will happen as lomg as People are free to make their own travel decisions. Unforrtunately, the current Berlin Senate is mentally closer to the old dictatorship DDR than to the free west.- Of course can they shut down Berlin Poland, which is 40 KM from Berlin, will gadly build an Airport with HSR connnection.

It taked 39 years now to build infrastructure in Germany, not only Airports. The same politicians that promote public Transport Support cigtizens initiatives to block such improvements. It is like sitting in a bus without Exits barreling down the Highway without Brakes and bound to hit a wall at full Speed..

Tegel would be such an Exit but cannot be maintained (in both meanings of the term) because of a court ruling that is based on outdated data from the mid 90s..The Situation is crazy, even a Referendum to Keep TXL open was and is ignored. Typical DDR. I cannot understand that a Situation , which is against the interest not only of the Berli citizens, can happen. A ülanning certificate must be changeable when new situations, in simple words, the reality becomes different. And the procedure should take no longer than a year. Not twenty or thirty yrats

The Berlin Senate should listen what Mr. Spohr said about the Berlin Airports Situation. And Tegel should be kept open, There is enough time to Change legislation.

My bet is sttill on, that Berlin will be the first capital of a large Nation without Airline Access. The planning certificate has an expiry date, same as TXL has. And the People in the bus do nothing to Change that.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
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seahawk
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:15 am

Berlin is not much different to Bavaria, where the 3rd runway has been pushed to God knows when, NRW where DUS is limited by legislation, Hessen where FRA is limited by slot limitations and curfews,...

There is no political will for growth in air traffic in Germany and to be honest, i think it would be kind of sexy if Berlin becomes the fist capital with no airport. "Berlin - the green capital of Europe" "Berlin - where only birds fly" - works for me.
 
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CARST
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:37 am

jfklganyc wrote:
Perhaps LH should make a big investment to fix the intolerable conditions at TXL...if they want it to remain open.


It's not their terminal. They don't own it. Germany also doesn't know the concept of long time terminal leases. Either an airline owns it, or it belongs to the airport company, which has to maintain it.

BUT >>> I'm sure LH could pay more to get more security staff at the gates, they could offer buying better equipment for the gate lounges they use permanently, they could get more check-in staff and people for crowd control.

tommy1808 wrote:
More importantly: as long TXL is open, BER can't open. The operating license for the latter is tied in to the former closing.


This is not correct AFAIK. I think the current law (the Planfeststellungsverfahren) states that TXL has to close no later than 180s after the first aircraft operates from BER (read: the new terminal). BER can open without TXL closing, but there is this 180 day time-limit.

tommy1808 wrote:
Wanting to keep TXL open requires a whole new "Planfeststellungsverfahren", 10 years is a conservative estimate for that.

So, this has about the same chance as reopening Tempelhof.


A change of such a law can't be done within half a year, but you also don't need 10 years. This is a lot about how much willpower the local politicians have. They know about the long delays since many years, but since haven't taken one step into the right direction. The red-red-green (center-left / left / green) coalition ruling Berlin is just unwilling to change a thing.

Since the original law on the Berlin-Brandenburg airports was decided on, many things have changed BTW. Multiple courts have ruled that such laws on public infrastructure, as well as related ecological questions should not take longer than 12 months at a maximum. In very difficult cases, 24 months could be tolerated. The times when it took 10 to 12 years to pass theses laws (Planfeststellungsverfahren) should be over. In the end it needs a sound plan from a willing local government which can be held up in the courts, when citizen groups and "ecological warriors" sue against it.

tommy1808 wrote:
CARST wrote:
Personally I hope Spohr uses his power to change the mind of our local politicians. The people of Berlin even voted in a majority to keep the airport open, but the vote is not binding for our politicians and they didn't change their mind so far. And I don't see them changing it


Local politicians have no say in this. The federal government would need to change a ton of laws to make that happen, and convince a bunch of courts the new laws are legal. Since those laws would strive to circumvent a system that largely is in place because of court rulings..... good luck with that.


As far as I know, that's wrong, too. This whole topic is based on regional political decisions. The Berlin-Brandenburg-Airport Company (running SXF, TXL and the future BER) are owned by Berlin, Brandenburg and the Federal Republic of Germany, each own one third of it. But the Federal Republic (=Germany) only takes a passive role in controlling that company, due the fact that all international airports in Germany have to be co-owned by the federal government.

Also the law which would have to changed (the new or changed "Planfeststellungsverfahren"), can only be changed by the local government. There is nothing th federal government can do about it.

SeanM1997 wrote:
Will Schonefeld be kept open once Brandenburg opens?


Schönefeld airport (SXF) is the same airport as BER.

BER is always touted as a new airport, but in fact it's just a large new terminal for SXF with a new apron, tower, hangars, etc., all build on the site of the old second SXF runway. As a replacement for that lost runway, a new runway was constructed south of the new terminal, to finally have two wide spaced runways for parrallel ops.

Originally it was planned to close the buildings of the current SXF ones BER opens and build the military apron for all government flights at this place, but now they want to keep the ugly and outdated SXF terminals open, because BER is too small.

ricport wrote:
As far as TXL, they'd have to bulldoze most, if not all of that, as well.


No, all opposing political parties and NGOs trying to keep TXL open have layed out plans to refurbish and renovate TXL for 1 billion Euro. That's about the money we put into the not-opened BER each year since 2012.

raylee67 wrote:
If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and there is no restriction on how it is used, no one would use BER.

BER will become YMX, unless TXL is restricted to serve limited routes, such as restrictions put on LIN, LGA, DAL, HND (initially when NRT opened) and SHA.


Wrong. These airports are no comparision at all. YMX, MXP and NRT are all very far away from the respective city center.

SXF/BER is hugging the south-eastern border of Berlin, it's the first "little village" outside of the city in the South-East along the highway 113. SXF/BER are connected to the city and regional railway network.

TXL is in the Northwest of the city, between western city-center and North/Northwest outskirts of the city. TXL is currently only connected to the bus network of the city (which takes you quickly to trains and subways), but could be connected to the subway-network (U5).

About half the people in Berlin & Brandenburg are quicker at TXL and the other half is quicker at BER/SXF.

Image

cityshuttle wrote:
Since Lufthansa never cared about Berlin and developing it any further than hub-connections to FRA and MUC ... even cut EW routes to only a few domestic smaller cities and a handful EU destinations ... nobody of the airport management should give a d**n about a statement of a LH CEO in regards to BER / TXL / SXF.


After EasyJet the Lufthansa Group is the second most important player at Berlin with LH, EW, OS and LX. And they are probably the ones most politicians fly on and who transport most people flying on company contracts. If LH Group says something in Germany, their words have a certain "weight".

Thibault973 wrote:
While super practical, TXL has to be the worst airport in "the western world" I've ever flown to and from. No rapid transit, hours to get your luggage after landing and an horrible horrible and crowed layount. The worst.


The layout is great, but you have to consider that the airport operates at over twice the number of passengers it ever was intended to operate at. This is not sustainable and can't lead to a good customer experience. Nor to efficient operations.

The original plans from the early 70s were very ambitious and IMO excellent. The A terminal should have gotten build a second time to the east of the current A terminal and the airport was supposed to have a subway line connection. The subway station already exists, but is not in use, because the subway-extension (read the tunnels) were never built. The plans to extend TXL in a realistic fashion were always held up until the late 80s / early 90s. Then reunification came and the local politicians decided on building a new airport for Berlin outside of the city, connected with highspeed rail to most parts of the city. The original plans wanted a maglev train like in Shanghai, the German Transrapid for these connections. Of course this never went anywhere and the plans for the new airport got changed a lot of times, as well as the location for it...

In the end you had the huge delays, massive growth in passenger numbers in the last 30 years, and no everything that was planned for in the 90s, is way too small today and not fit to handle over 30 million pax.

Airdolomiti wrote:
If LH wants to improve waiting times for check-in, as well, they should do away with the recently introduced centralised desks in terminal B and go back to individual desks at each gate like everyone else does in terminal A. It’s pretty much the only real advantage of operating from TXL.


I agree. Just plain stupid in the A terminal...

aviationaware wrote:
Keeping TXL open after BER opens (if that ever happens) would be a disaster. As long as TXL is open, airlines will try to realize the premium that is to be charged for the closer proximity to the airport and BER will remain the evil stepmother.

This will be MXP but worse since BER won't have a hubbed airline now that AB is gone that will at least get some baseline traffic through it. Just does not work.

cityshuttle wrote:
If they keep TXL open then they will create the same scenario as MXP and LIN.


No to both of you, wrong conclusion, see above, BER/SXF & TXL are both in the city or just at the cities border, BER/SXF is even better connected to the ctiy's rail network, half the people would prefer BER, the other half would prefer TXL, depending on the location.

YYZLGA wrote:
Why is the new Berlin airport 7 years late?


Too many things. I will try a very short description...

1) The whole airport was planned under a conservative government in the 90s, together with the huge german construction company "Hoch-Tief", which had a lot of experience building airports worldwide at the time.
2) Early in the 2000s, a center-left government took over the local government for the city of Berlin. The new mayor Mr. Wowereit, invested two years of work to get "Hoch-Tief" out of the original contract by always asking for new things and making work very complicated for them (this all is a massive understatement if you read up on what he really did).
3) Mr. Wowereit then decided that the new airport should be build by as many local companies as possible, to spend the money locally. Hoch-Tief asked him to stay on board, at least as managing constructing company because (a) they had already spent a lot of money on planning the construction site and (b) they argued that lot's of small companies won't work together very well. Mr. Wowereit ignored this plea with the words "I won't pay you money just for sitting around managing the construction site, I can do that myself cheaper and faster".
4) Construction began in 2006 and construction took longer than expected, very early the opening was postponed from 2011 to 2012
5) in 2012 it was discovered that the smoke ventilation system is not working and could not be certified, a delay of at least 1-2 years was to be expected, this was annouced TWO weeks before the planned opening date of BER
6) as reaction to (6), Mr. Wowereit, the mayor of Berlin and in this function also acting CEO of the Berlin-Brandenburg airport company fired the architects of the airport
7) the architects of the airport took all their planning material with them and left the construction site a few weeks later. Left behind was a construction site without ANY relevant plans. Peoeple didn't even know anymore where cables were layed down. Apparently the architects acted lawfully and never had to give the plans back.
8) the next about 4-5 years were spent on two thigs: finding a new solution for the botched smoke ventilation system and finding all cables, etc.
9) while that work was going on, it was found out, because there was no company managing the construction site, that all the small companies, each have done "what they want" and each of them have layed down cables differently and some in dangerous manners, with some power cables now being a fire hazard
10) So since about 2016/2017 they are in the progress of also replacing cables, remodelling the smoke ventilation system (a solution was apparently found), etc.
11) Another problem which popped up is the train station, which is right under the terminal and has an open stairway/connection to the check-in-area. If multiple trains now enter the station, a lot of air is pushed up into the terminal, risking in case of a fire, that the fire spreads and gets a lot of air. No solution has been found to that problem and apparently it seems like it will be ignored.
12) They now plan to open the airport in the autumn of 2020. I don't see it happening, but we will see...

There were a lot of other smaller problems, but the timeline above should give you an idea how one single man fucked up the whole project. And believe it or not, he's not getting prosecuted for it, because politicians here can fuck up as much as they want, as long as they intended to do good work. Germany is a first class banana republic.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:58 am

raylee67 wrote:
If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and there is no restriction on how it is used, no one would use BER.


This. Berlin can't sustain 2 airports. It will only result in 2 mediocre airports and a nightmare for connecting passengers. Instead of having 1 dedicated airport link, the city will have to fund 2 or more duplicate links to serve both airports and so on.
BER will continue to be a nightmare until it has opened, but the city needs to centralize the airports into one major transport hub, and Tegel can't do that.

As for the capacity constraints, I disagree. With the absence of Air Berlin, there won't be a need for a long time. Expansions will be fast too. Nordpier and Südpier can be extended with much ease, and actual construction of the piers didn't take too long.
TXL and SXF combined have about 40 gates which can reach the aircraft without a bus. BER has roughly the same, plus over twice as many remote stands. The runways are separated far enough to allow simultaneous operations from both with no restrictions, unlike Tegel.


FatCat wrote:
SeanM1997 wrote:
Will Schonefeld be kept open once Brandenburg opens? Schonefeld serves airlines such as Ryanair whilst Brandenburg can serve legacy carriers. Would mean, passengers can access both services in the same area, and practically be just separate terminals over different airports

No, if I undestand it correctly.


It is/was supposed to be converted to the base of the Luftwaffe VIP-fleet, currently based in Köln-Bonn.
 
Noshow
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:58 am

Great summary. Thanks a lot. I don't see it opening. It looks like it can't ever be certified due to chaotic building standards and lack of documentation. Possibly it will need to be broken down and built all over again strictly according to the original plans. But those bad news are nothing local politicians want to share with the public.
There is the local joking that believing in the opening of BER has become some religion.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:18 am

CARST wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
More importantly: as long TXL is open, BER can't open. The operating license for the latter is tied in to the former closing.


This is not correct AFAIK. I think the current law (the Planfeststellungsverfahren) states that TXL has to close no later than 180s after the first aircraft operates from BER (read: the new terminal). BER can open without TXL closing, but there is this 180 day time-limit.


Yes, you are right about that. I just didn´t think 180 days that both can run in parallel make a difference for this discussion.

A change of such a law can't be done within half a year, but you also don't need 10 years. This is a lot about how much willpower the local politicians have. They know about the long delays since many years, but since haven't taken one step into the right direction. The red-red-green (center-left / left / green) coalition ruling Berlin is just unwilling to change a thing.


Yes, they would need to change their mind as well.

Since the original law on the Berlin-Brandenburg airports was decided on, many things have changed BTW. Multiple courts have ruled that such laws on public infrastructure, as well as related ecological questions should not take longer than 12 months at a maximum. In very difficult cases, 24 months could be tolerated. The times when it took 10 to 12 years to pass theses laws (Planfeststellungsverfahren) should be over. In the end it needs a sound plan from a willing local government which can be held up in the courts, when citizen groups and "ecological warriors" sue against it.


The process itself never took that long. The court challenges do. And not much has changed about due process of law.

As far as I know, that's wrong, too. This whole topic is based on regional political decisions. The Berlin-Brandenburg-Airport Company (running SXF, TXL and the future BER) are owned by Berlin, Brandenburg and the Federal Republic of Germany, each own one third of it. But the Federal Republic (=Germany) only takes a passive role in controlling that company, due the fact that all international airports in Germany have to be co-owned by the federal government.

Also the law which would have to changed (the new or changed "Planfeststellungsverfahren"), can only be changed by the local government. There is nothing th federal government can do about it.


The laws governing the Planfeststellungsverfahren are federal laws. The local government has to have the will to do it, but either push through the hole procedure (and get their ass sued off in the process), but to make it faster it needs the federal government wanting to come up with quicker procedures... and those will be challenged in court too.

An entirely different issue is that it is very likely that foreign companies own a ton of real estate around TXL, and bought it after TXL closure was the law. Now Germany has a bilateral investment protection agreement with almost everyone on this planet, and they will see this as an opportunity to sue for damages......

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
Noshow
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:00 pm

You can change the closure plans for Tegel and get some modified operating permit parallel to BER as any judge will accept real world numbers of the much grown Berlin air traffic as proof of a new need beyound what BER was meant to cover. The point is not to close it but keep it open. A new airport planning will take forever. Just NOT closing it means many grandfather rights can be used.
The closure of Tegel is not as final as some guys want to make you believe.
 
Kiwirob
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:07 pm

raylee67 wrote:
If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and there is no restriction on how it is used, no one would use BER.

BER will become YMX, unless TXL is restricted to serve limited routes, such as restrictions put on LIN, LGA, DAL, HND (initially when NRT opened) and SHA.


Berlin has a population of 3.5m, rising to over 6m in the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, the second largest urban area in the EU after London, London supports 5 airports, Berlin should be able to support 2.
 
Noshow
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:09 pm

The infrastructure of those two airports can be filled with the current passenger numbers. BER - even if opened one day- is too small for today's actual numbers as they have grown so much.
 
5NFGS
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:12 pm

CARST wrote:

YYZLGA wrote:
Why is the new Berlin airport 7 years late?


Too many things. I will try a very short description...

1) The whole airport was planned under a conservative government in the 90s, together with the huge german construction company "Hoch-Tief", which had a lot of experience building airports worldwide at the time.
2) Early in the 2000s, a center-left government took over the local government for the city of Berlin. The new mayor Mr. Wowereit, invested two years of work to get "Hoch-Tief" out of the original contract by always asking for new things and making work very complicated for them (this all is a massive understatement if you read up on what he really did).
3) Mr. Wowereit then decided that the new airport should be build by as many local companies as possible, to spend the money locally. Hoch-Tief asked him to stay on board, at least as managing constructing company because (a) they had already spent a lot of money on planning the construction site and (b) they argued that lot's of small companies won't work together very well. Mr. Wowereit ignored this plea with the words "I won't pay you money just for sitting around managing the construction site, I can do that myself cheaper and faster".
4) Construction began in 2006 and construction took longer than expected, very early the opening was postponed from 2011 to 2012
5) in 2012 it was discovered that the smoke ventilation system is not working and could not be certified, a delay of at least 1-2 years was to be expected, this was annouced TWO weeks before the planned opening date of BER
6) as reaction to (6), Mr. Wowereit, the mayor of Berlin and in this function also acting CEO of the Berlin-Brandenburg airport company fired the architects of the airport
7) the architects of the airport took all their planning material with them and left the construction site a few weeks later. Left behind was a construction site without ANY relevant plans. Peoeple didn't even know anymore where cables were layed down. Apparently the architects acted lawfully and never had to give the plans back.
8) the next about 4-5 years were spent on two thigs: finding a new solution for the botched smoke ventilation system and finding all cables, etc.
9) while that work was going on, it was found out, because there was no company managing the construction site, that all the small companies, each have done "what they want" and each of them have layed down cables differently and some in dangerous manners, with some power cables now being a fire hazard
10) So since about 2016/2017 they are in the progress of also replacing cables, remodelling the smoke ventilation system (a solution was apparently found), etc.
11) Another problem which popped up is the train station, which is right under the terminal and has an open stairway/connection to the check-in-area. If multiple trains now enter the station, a lot of air is pushed up into the terminal, risking in case of a fire, that the fire spreads and gets a lot of air. No solution has been found to that problem and apparently it seems like it will be ignored.
12) They now plan to open the airport in the autumn of 2020. I don't see it happening, but we will see...

There were a lot of other smaller problems, but the timeline above should give you an idea how one single man fucked up the whole project. And believe it or not, he's not getting prosecuted for it, because politicians here can fuck up as much as they want, as long as they intended to do good work. Germany is a first class banana republic.


Wow..........thought only we had clowns like this
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:17 pm

5NFGS wrote:
CARST wrote:

YYZLGA wrote:
Why is the new Berlin airport 7 years late?


Too many things. I will try a very short description...

1) The whole airport was planned under a conservative government in the 90s, together with the huge german construction company "Hoch-Tief", which had a lot of experience building airports worldwide at the time.
2) Early in the 2000s, a center-left government took over the local government for the city of Berlin. The new mayor Mr. Wowereit, invested two years of work to get "Hoch-Tief" out of the original contract by always asking for new things and making work very complicated for them (this all is a massive understatement if you read up on what he really did).
3) Mr. Wowereit then decided that the new airport should be build by as many local companies as possible, to spend the money locally. Hoch-Tief asked him to stay on board, at least as managing constructing company because (a) they had already spent a lot of money on planning the construction site and (b) they argued that lot's of small companies won't work together very well. Mr. Wowereit ignored this plea with the words "I won't pay you money just for sitting around managing the construction site, I can do that myself cheaper and faster".
4) Construction began in 2006 and construction took longer than expected, very early the opening was postponed from 2011 to 2012
5) in 2012 it was discovered that the smoke ventilation system is not working and could not be certified, a delay of at least 1-2 years was to be expected, this was annouced TWO weeks before the planned opening date of BER
6) as reaction to (6), Mr. Wowereit, the mayor of Berlin and in this function also acting CEO of the Berlin-Brandenburg airport company fired the architects of the airport
7) the architects of the airport took all their planning material with them and left the construction site a few weeks later. Left behind was a construction site without ANY relevant plans. Peoeple didn't even know anymore where cables were layed down. Apparently the architects acted lawfully and never had to give the plans back.
8) the next about 4-5 years were spent on two thigs: finding a new solution for the botched smoke ventilation system and finding all cables, etc.
9) while that work was going on, it was found out, because there was no company managing the construction site, that all the small companies, each have done "what they want" and each of them have layed down cables differently and some in dangerous manners, with some power cables now being a fire hazard
10) So since about 2016/2017 they are in the progress of also replacing cables, remodelling the smoke ventilation system (a solution was apparently found), etc.
11) Another problem which popped up is the train station, which is right under the terminal and has an open stairway/connection to the check-in-area. If multiple trains now enter the station, a lot of air is pushed up into the terminal, risking in case of a fire, that the fire spreads and gets a lot of air. No solution has been found to that problem and apparently it seems like it will be ignored.
12) They now plan to open the airport in the autumn of 2020. I don't see it happening, but we will see...

There were a lot of other smaller problems, but the timeline above should give you an idea how one single man fucked up the whole project. And believe it or not, he's not getting prosecuted for it, because politicians here can fuck up as much as they want, as long as they intended to do good work. Germany is a first class banana republic.


Wow..........thought only we had clowns like this


Thank you CARST for answering my question. I am speechless at the ineptitude and mismanagement of this project. Strange this would happen in a country known for its "Engineering".
 
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CARST
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:43 pm

5NFGS wrote:
Wow..........thought only we had clowns like this


william wrote:
Thank you CARST for answering my question. I am speechless at the ineptitude and mismanagement of this project. Strange this would happen in a country known for its "Engineering".


I think it's not representative for large-scale projects in Germany. That the planning phases are quite long here, is nothing new, the NIMBY-problem started already in the 70s and Germans like to go to court as much as most other people in the First World Countries these days over every shit that bothers them.

But the real construction phase, once it starts, (considering all the safety laws) usually is still completed in a timely manner, sometimes even under the planned time and often within budget.

What the whole fiasco here in Berlin showed us (again and again and again) is that as soon as politicians take the lead on sizeable projects, these projects will be mismanaged and run over budget and way over time. And interestingly it's always the states and city-states run by left-wing parties, where the things go massively wrong, mainly because left-wing politicians here are opposing to give state-owned structures into private hands or at least run them like a private company which doesn't get influenced by the politicians.

BER is THE example for this and I think once the whole story is known, it will be used at universities and by coaches, to show that politicians are there to make the grand scale decisions, but also refrain from believing they can make decisions which are usually only made by "experts" with years or even decades of experience. If you look to MUC or FRA, even the huge Berlin Main Station and other large scale projects which have been constructed from scratch or which have been massively extended in the past 30 years, you will see that these worked flawlessly, because these projects were completely managed by privately run companies, which were partly state-owned, but never got influence from the political side.

The sad thing about this whole saga for me is, that there is no prosecution of the people who messed this up. Especially "that one" person. We sank billions into this project...

- In 1995 the airport was supposed to cost 1,1 billion Euro.
- In 2004, mainly due to demands from Mr. Wowereit, the estimated costs had risen to 1.3 - 1.7 billion Euro (1.7 was the final offer from Hoch-Tief to build the finished airport at the time).
- Mr. Wowereit claimed at the same time that "Hoch-Tief" wants to "rip off" the city of Berlin and said "I can manage the construction of the airport and build the whole thing for less than 1 billion".
- Four years later, in 2008, his words were not worth a penny and the architects said the airport would now cost 2.4 billion Euro.
- In 2015 we were at 6 billion Euro.
- When the airport is "supposed" to open in late 2020, we will talk about a 10 billion bill for the tax payers in Germany.

Considering the final offer from Hoch-Tief, and even adding the usual supplemental contracts, you are looking at a 10 billion bill versus the 2 billion bill. Heck and Wowereit claimed he could build it all for 1 billion....
 
Noshow
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:49 pm

Only a very rich country can have expensive hobbys like this,
 
raylee67
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:14 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and there is no restriction on how it is used, no one would use BER.

BER will become YMX, unless TXL is restricted to serve limited routes, such as restrictions put on LIN, LGA, DAL, HND (initially when NRT opened) and SHA.


Berlin has a population of 3.5m, rising to over 6m in the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, the second largest urban area in the EU after London, London supports 5 airports, Berlin should be able to support 2.


Population itself is not the only factor to consider though. Singapore has a population of 6 million too, but it only needs one airport with three runways. Greater Tokyo Area has a population of 32 million and it only has two airports, with 6 runways in total.

The difference between Berlin and London is that London has a lot of premium business traffic, and it is naturally the trans-Atlantic transit point. While although Berlin is the political centre of Germany (and arguably the implicit political centre of EU), it is not where the businesses are. The financial sector traffic is in FRA, and manufacturing sector traffic mainly in MUC or along the Rhine. Also, at least at this point, Berlin is not a hub for any major airline, and I don't think LH has any plan to dilute its hub operations at FRA and MUC to make BER the 3rd inter-continental transit hub.

If TXL stays open without restrictions, premium traffic will stay there. No one wants to go out of the way to go to a far-away airport. The state-of-the-art (supposingly) BER will then either become a back-up airport to serve airlines which cannot get slots at TXL, or it will become a LCC airport. I am sure that's not the intended purpose of building BER.
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:24 pm

raylee67 wrote:
If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and there is no restriction on how it is used, no one would use BER.

BER will become YMX, unless TXL is restricted to serve limited routes, such as restrictions put on LIN, LGA, DAL, HND (initially when NRT opened) and SHA.


Berlin has more than 33 million passengers a year. Montreal Trudeau, on years of continued growth, only just reached 18 million passengers a year in 2018. It is a much busier market today than it was in 1970s-90s when the Dorval/Mirabel situation evolved into making Montreal a two-airport market, and the airline industry has changed. The community may be about to get a second scheduled passenger traffic airport in St-Hubert. Things change.
 
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:27 pm

Singapore is just opening a second passenger airport at Seletar and massively expanding Changi.
 
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:39 pm

You are missing the point, keeping Tegel open or quickly extending BER is not gonna win you an election in Berlin or Brandenburg, it will do the exact opposite. And in the end it is the prerogative of the people to decide how much air traffic they want and Germans want less.
 
YYZLGA
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:58 pm

VSMUT wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and there is no restriction on how it is used, no one would use BER.


This. Berlin can't sustain 2 airports. It will only result in 2 mediocre airports and a nightmare for connecting passengers. Instead of having 1 dedicated airport link, the city will have to fund 2 or more duplicate links to serve both airports and so on.
BER will continue to be a nightmare until it has opened, but the city needs to centralize the airports into one major transport hub, and Tegel can't do that.


Exactly. If you keep TXL open, all you've done is take decades and spend billions of dollars to build a new terminal for SXF. If Tegel's available for full use, nobody but LCCs are going to use BER. If capacity at BER is limited in the short term, keep the SXF terminal open for ULCCs. I'm sure Ryanair would be thrilled if they got a break on fees. In the longer term, expanding terminal capacity isn't very difficult (assuming you do it more intelligently than Berlin has thus far) and certainly no more difficult than rebuilding TXL, as would be required if Berlin decides to keep a two-airport system. As for runway capacity, if two independent parallel runways is sufficient for the current traffic at LHR, HKG, SIN, MUC, etc. it's good enough for Berlin for the foreseeable future. If runway capacity really is such a concern, keeping TXL open for GA only might make sense, but that's a lot of valuable land to use for Cessnas.

Never mind YMX, the most obvious parallel here is Milan. They built MXP while keeping LIN open, and aviation in Milan has suffered ever since.
 
sonicruiser
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:08 pm

seahawk wrote:
There is no political will for growth in air traffic in Germany and to be honest, i think it would be kind of sexy if Berlin becomes the fist capital with no airport. "Berlin - the green capital of Europe" "Berlin - where only birds fly" - works for me.


You realize this is Airliners.net right?
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:57 pm

sonicruiser wrote:
seahawk wrote:
There is no political will for growth in air traffic in Germany and to be honest, i think it would be kind of sexy if Berlin becomes the fist capital with no airport. "Berlin - the green capital of Europe" "Berlin - where only birds fly" - works for me.


You realize this is Airliners.net right?


Which does not interest the politicians or voters in Berlin, and it matches the desire of Berlin to call problems and failure "sexy". So in my opinion it would match Berlin.
 
SurlyBonds
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:06 pm

raylee67 wrote:
If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and therWhile although Berlin is the political centre of Germany (and arguably the implicit political centre of EU), it is not where the businesses are.
[/quote][/quote]

I am chiming in to say this is untrue. WIth the exception -- possibly -- of London, Berlin is easily the most important city in Europe for emerging growth/startup businesses, and that eventually means serial acquirers and VCs will come, too. I was at a presentation on this very point at Stanford's school of engineering earlier this week. I have personally seen a number of very impressive startups in Berlin. N26 is a fintech "unicorn" headquartered in Berlin.

Also, while Berlin may not quite have the lobbying and think-tank culture of Washington or Brussels, government traffic in those cities ain't nothing.
 
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:24 pm

raylee67 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and there is no restriction on how it is used, no one would use BER.

BER will become YMX, unless TXL is restricted to serve limited routes, such as restrictions put on LIN, LGA, DAL, HND (initially when NRT opened) and SHA.


Berlin has a population of 3.5m, rising to over 6m in the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, the second largest urban area in the EU after London, London supports 5 airports, Berlin should be able to support 2.


Population itself is not the only factor to consider though. Singapore has a population of 6 million too, but it only needs one airport with three runways. Greater Tokyo Area has a population of 32 million and it only has two airports, with 6 runways in total.


Greater Tokyo has three airports, you’re forgetting Ibaraki Airport. There are plenty of calls for another airport as well, which would make 4 if it gets built.
 
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:19 am

william wrote:
5NFGS wrote:
CARST wrote:
Too many things. I will try a very short description...
...
There were a lot of other smaller problems, but the timeline above should give you an idea how one single man fucked up the whole project. And believe it or not, he's not getting prosecuted for it, because politicians here can fuck up as much as they want, as long as they intended to do good work. Germany is a first class banana republic.

Wow..........thought only we had clowns like this

Thank you CARST for answering my question. I am speechless at the ineptitude and mismanagement of this project. Strange this would happen in a country known for its "Engineering".

I agree, many thanks to CARST for giving the "short" summary.

BER truly meets the definition of FUBAR: F***** Up Beyond All Recognition.

I wonder if the ones who launched the project thinking it would be 1B EUR or so would have any ability to recognize this 10B+ EUR cruel joke of a project.

Someone deserves the Order of the Red Star for this fiasco.
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Noshow
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:45 am

The main BER problem is the look ahead. It's problems are far from being solved. There is still no openess how bad things are.
 
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william
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:39 pm

CARST wrote:
5NFGS wrote:
Wow..........thought only we had clowns like this


william wrote:
Thank you CARST for answering my question. I am speechless at the ineptitude and mismanagement of this project. Strange this would happen in a country known for its "Engineering".


I think it's not representative for large-scale projects in Germany. That the planning phases are quite long here, is nothing new, the NIMBY-problem started already in the 70s and Germans like to go to court as much as most other people in the First World Countries these days over every shit that bothers them.

But the real construction phase, once it starts, (considering all the safety laws) usually is still completed in a timely manner, sometimes even under the planned time and often within budget.

What the whole fiasco here in Berlin showed us (again and again and again) is that as soon as politicians take the lead on sizeable projects, these projects will be mismanaged and run over budget and way over time. And interestingly it's always the states and city-states run by left-wing parties, where the things go massively wrong, mainly because left-wing politicians here are opposing to give state-owned structures into private hands or at least run them like a private company which doesn't get influenced by the politicians.

BER is THE example for this and I think once the whole story is known, it will be used at universities and by coaches, to show that politicians are there to make the grand scale decisions, but also refrain from believing they can make decisions which are usually only made by "experts" with years or even decades of experience. If you look to MUC or FRA, even the huge Berlin Main Station and other large scale projects which have been constructed from scratch or which have been massively extended in the past 30 years, you will see that these worked flawlessly, because these projects were completely managed by privately run companies, which were partly state-owned, but never got influence from the political side.

The sad thing about this whole saga for me is, that there is no prosecution of the people who messed this up. Especially "that one" person. We sank billions into this project...

- In 1995 the airport was supposed to cost 1,1 billion Euro.
- In 2004, mainly due to demands from Mr. Wowereit, the estimated costs had risen to 1.3 - 1.7 billion Euro (1.7 was the final offer from Hoch-Tief to build the finished airport at the time).
- Mr. Wowereit claimed at the same time that "Hoch-Tief" wants to "rip off" the city of Berlin and said "I can manage the construction of the airport and build the whole thing for less than 1 billion".
- Four years later, in 2008, his words were not worth a penny and the architects said the airport would now cost 2.4 billion Euro.
- In 2015 we were at 6 billion Euro.
- When the airport is "supposed" to open in late 2020, we will talk about a 10 billion bill for the tax payers in Germany.

Considering the final offer from Hoch-Tief, and even adding the usual supplemental contracts, you are looking at a 10 billion bill versus the 2 billion bill. Heck and Wowereit claimed he could build it all for 1 billion....


So what happened to the mayor that caused this fiasco? Still in office? What is his comment on the "new" airport today? Surprised Der Speigel has not roasted him or her yet.
 
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CARST
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:47 pm

william wrote:
CARST wrote:
5NFGS wrote:
Wow..........thought only we had clowns like this


william wrote:
Thank you CARST for answering my question. I am speechless at the ineptitude and mismanagement of this project. Strange this would happen in a country known for its "Engineering".


I think it's not representative for large-scale projects in Germany. That the planning phases are quite long here, is nothing new, the NIMBY-problem started already in the 70s and Germans like to go to court as much as most other people in the First World Countries these days over every shit that bothers them.

But the real construction phase, once it starts, (considering all the safety laws) usually is still completed in a timely manner, sometimes even under the planned time and often within budget.

What the whole fiasco here in Berlin showed us (again and again and again) is that as soon as politicians take the lead on sizeable projects, these projects will be mismanaged and run over budget and way over time. And interestingly it's always the states and city-states run by left-wing parties, where the things go massively wrong, mainly because left-wing politicians here are opposing to give state-owned structures into private hands or at least run them like a private company which doesn't get influenced by the politicians.

BER is THE example for this and I think once the whole story is known, it will be used at universities and by coaches, to show that politicians are there to make the grand scale decisions, but also refrain from believing they can make decisions which are usually only made by "experts" with years or even decades of experience. If you look to MUC or FRA, even the huge Berlin Main Station and other large scale projects which have been constructed from scratch or which have been massively extended in the past 30 years, you will see that these worked flawlessly, because these projects were completely managed by privately run companies, which were partly state-owned, but never got influence from the political side.

The sad thing about this whole saga for me is, that there is no prosecution of the people who messed this up. Especially "that one" person. We sank billions into this project...

- In 1995 the airport was supposed to cost 1,1 billion Euro.
- In 2004, mainly due to demands from Mr. Wowereit, the estimated costs had risen to 1.3 - 1.7 billion Euro (1.7 was the final offer from Hoch-Tief to build the finished airport at the time).
- Mr. Wowereit claimed at the same time that "Hoch-Tief" wants to "rip off" the city of Berlin and said "I can manage the construction of the airport and build the whole thing for less than 1 billion".
- Four years later, in 2008, his words were not worth a penny and the architects said the airport would now cost 2.4 billion Euro.
- In 2015 we were at 6 billion Euro.
- When the airport is "supposed" to open in late 2020, we will talk about a 10 billion bill for the tax payers in Germany.

Considering the final offer from Hoch-Tief, and even adding the usual supplemental contracts, you are looking at a 10 billion bill versus the 2 billion bill. Heck and Wowereit claimed he could build it all for 1 billion....


So what happened to the mayor that caused this fiasco? Still in office? What is his comment on the "new" airport today? Surprised Der Speigel has not roasted him or her yet.


He was forced to resign from his post as the mayor of the city in 2014 and since then lives a good life on a huge pension politicians here get if they have occupied an official position for a while (if they have been a member of a state or federal parliament).

He had since then not commented on any questions regarding the airport.

„Der Spiegel“ ran big stories about the new airport and also about Mr. Wowereit messing it all up. The most interesting article was a rather short one which included interviews with leading managers of the ousted construction company Hoch-Tief who had to deal with Mr. Wowereit in the early and Mid 2000s.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:01 pm

I do think that Berlin could sustain two airports, and indeed, looking at the capacities and traffic numbers, keeping both TXL and BER open seems to be the only way to avoid continued congestion.

Both airports are close enough to be workable for large parts of the population. Both airports would work at a reasonable way if not overcrowded like TXL is today.

I don't see a big problem airlines flocking to one or the other. If an alliance or particular LCC sticks to a particular airport, that solves 99% of the transfer problems, too. (Not that Berlin has ever been a big transfer place, at least after Air Berlin disappeared... sniff... I miss them. Was a great OneWorld gateway to many smaller cities through Europe, at an affordable price from Finland.)
 
Ryanair01
Posts: 486
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:27 pm

Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:47 pm

raylee67 wrote:
If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and there is no restriction on how it is used, no one would use BER.

BER will become YMX, unless TXL is restricted to serve limited routes, such as restrictions put on LIN, LGA, DAL, HND (initially when NRT opened) and SHA.


Have you ever been to Berlin? More than 1m passengers a month already use 'the new airport', which is in fact an existing airport that has been in operation since the 1930s. That means today just under 40% of Berlin's air passengers already use the airport you claim no one will use if Tegel stays open. So if Tegel stays open 60% will continue to use it, but can you explain why the 40% who use SXF today (which is the new airport) will magically stop using it and what will happen to them?

seahawk wrote:
You are missing the point, keeping Tegel open or quickly extending BER is not gonna win you an election in Berlin or Brandenburg, it will do the exact opposite.


Erm, no...... Have you ever been to Berlin or know anyone who lives there? Your statement only stands if you ignore all the available facts https://www.dw.com/en/berlin-votes-to-keep-tegel-airport-open/a-40667155

CARST wrote:
11) Another problem which popped up is the train station, which is right under the terminal and has an open stairway/connection to the check-in-area. If multiple trains now enter the station, a lot of air is pushed up into the terminal, risking in case of a fire, that the fire spreads and gets a lot of air. No solution has been found to that problem and apparently it seems like it will be ignored.
12) They now plan to open the airport in the autumn of 2020. I don't see it happening, but we will see...

There were a lot of other smaller problems, but the timeline above should give you an idea how one single man fucked up the whole project. And believe it or not, he's not getting prosecuted for it, because politicians here can fuck up as much as they want, as long as they intended to do good work. Germany is a first class banana republic.


I don't know how public it was, but I personally knew about the train station issue back in 2011 from people directly involved. I suspect every time a 'new' problem comes up, the people involved just fake a look of surprise.

The other issue I'd add to your very good list is the well documented corruption, not to mention the poisoned whistle blower. From what I hear construction turned into a giant ponzi scheme of corruption with, understandably, no real control on who the end work was carried out by and if they were competent.

https://www.handelsblatt.com/today/companies/capital-corruption-berlin-airport-on-trial/23540310.html?ticket=ST-556539-lEAblebmqdRqVlh9vBHQ-ap6

I have to laugh every time I read about 'new airport' and 'Berlin isn't able to support more than one airport' :rotfl:

Firstly, as CARST points out, it's just a new mid field terminal for SXF and a replacement runway (SXF had two runways until 2007 anyway). It's not a new airport at all and SXF's existing terminal will, god forbid, actually stay open because the new one is too small. 'New airport' is just marketing BS.

Second, in which parallel universe has the city of Berlin not been supporting multiple airports since the beginning of aviation? Again, in which parallel universe is Berlin ever going to be a transfer hub - no one anywhere on earth is working towards that?

Thibault973 wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:
Perhaps LH should make a big investment to fix the intolerable conditions at TXL...if they want it to remain open.


While super practical, TXL has to be the worst airport in "the western world" I've ever flown to and from. No rapid transit, hours to get your luggage after landing and an horrible horrible and crowed layount. The worst.


If you haven't already, just try using SXF which has become a borderline traumatic experience, it's truly a cesspit, especially with the stupid central security point.

raylee67 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
If TXL stays open, BER has no future, even after all the nightmare ends. Berlin does not need two airports. It cannot support two. If TXL stays open and there is no restriction on how it is used, no one would use BER.

BER will become YMX, unless TXL is restricted to serve limited routes, such as restrictions put on LIN, LGA, DAL, HND (initially when NRT opened) and SHA.


Berlin has a population of 3.5m, rising to over 6m in the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, the second largest urban area in the EU after London, London supports 5 airports, Berlin should be able to support 2.


Population itself is not the only factor to consider though. Singapore has a population of 6 million too, but it only needs one airport with three runways. Greater Tokyo Area has a population of 32 million and it only has two airports, with 6 runways in total.

The difference between Berlin and London is that London has a lot of premium business traffic, and it is naturally the trans-Atlantic transit point. While although Berlin is the political centre of Germany (and arguably the implicit political centre of EU), it is not where the businesses are. The financial sector traffic is in FRA, and manufacturing sector traffic mainly in MUC or along the Rhine. Also, at least at this point, Berlin is not a hub for any major airline, and I don't think LH has any plan to dilute its hub operations at FRA and MUC to make BER the 3rd inter-continental transit hub.

If TXL stays open without restrictions, premium traffic will stay there. No one wants to go out of the way to go to a far-away airport. The state-of-the-art (supposingly) BER will then either become a back-up airport to serve airlines which cannot get slots at TXL, or it will become a LCC airport. I am sure that's not the intended purpose of building BER.


Yes, premium airlines will stay at TXL. But that still leaves the just under 40% of Berlin's air passengers who already use the 'new airport', which is just a rebranded SXF. I once lived about 5 minutes walk from Checkpoint Charlie and ten minutes walk from Potsdamer Platz. Geographically that's pretty much exactly the middle of Berlin. Taxi time to TXL and SXF was identical, the new terminal is not some far-away airport like Malpensa and anyone with a knowledge of Berlin knows that.
 
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CARST
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Re: Lufthansa CEO Spohr changes his stance on Berlin, wants TXL to be kept open...

Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:03 am

Ryanair01 wrote:
I don't know how public it was, but I personally knew about the train station issue back in 2011 from people directly involved. I suspect every time a 'new' problem comes up, the people involved just fake a look of surprise.


Yeah, I think the whole train station story came up quite early in proper media like Der Spiegel and to me it seems that problem has just been ignored since then.

The easiest way would probably to build a (glass) housing around the stairs and escalators leading from the train station into the terminal. Similar to the subway entrances at MUC T1. But so far nothing happened in that direction.

Ryanair01 wrote:
Second, in which parallel universe has the city of Berlin not been supporting multiple airports since the beginning of aviation? Again, in which parallel universe is Berlin ever going to be a transfer hub - no one anywhere on earth is working towards that?


At this point I should mention that Air Berlin, when they bought LTU in 2008 and were growing significantly at the time, intended to hub at BER from 2011 onward. But delay after delay helped bring them closer to their final fate of bankruptcy. I don’t know if AB would have survived with BER opening on time, the economic crisis of 2009-2011 and mismanagement did their part, too, but I’m kinda convinced if BER has opened in 2011, that AB would still be around. They lost so many opportunities due to that airport scandal. And they tried to hub at TXL, which of course could never really work. TXL is great, when not running over capacity, but only as a point-to-point airport like LCY.

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