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More flights and more tourists for the German capital

When Berlin's new airport opens for its first flights June 3, it will be a milestone for Berlin's already-booming tourism scene.

travel Updated: May 07, 2012 17:32 IST
AFP

When Berlin's new airport opens for its first flights June 3, it will be a milestone for Berlin's already-booming tourism scene.

Last month, the authority responsible for Berlin's current airports, Tegel and Schoenefeld, noted that it has seen traffic figures nearly double from 12.2 million passengers in 2002 to 24 million in 2011 as the German capital slowly grows to compete with established destinations such as Frankfurt and Munich.

Brandenburg, a glittering modern airport capable of handling up to 30 million passengers, will likely help it even further along that path by adding much-needed connectivity to global destinations.

Freed of the capacity constraints of Tegel and Schoenefeld, German flag-carrier Lufthansa will see the biggest expansion -- from 11 destinations to a whopping 39, a factor of four.

New places on offer include Valencia, Helsinki, Bologna, Birmingham and Beirut, with Lufthansa promising fares between Berlin and European destinations will start from €49 each way for the first time.

AirBerlin, Lufthansa's major competitor, has also signalled its intentions to build BER into an international hub, with 70 flights and around 40 aircraft based in the German capital.

Among the new destinations on offer are Los Angeles, Windhoek in Namibia and Abu Dhabi, with frequency increasing on several other routes too.

Brandenburg will also become the third largest hub for airline alliance Oneworld, who will be able to share lounges clustered around Air Berlin's 'South Pier' -- Lufthansa and Star Alliance passengers will use the 'Central Pier'.

Low-cost passengers are set to get their own 'North Pier', which is likely to quickly serve many more budget airline passengers than Berlin's current airports do.

EasyJet is expected to be the third largest carrier operating at the airport adding a further two new routes to the 37 services is currently runs -- Rhodes with prices from €36.49 and Mykonos with prices from €50.49.