Today (08/11/20) the last commercial flight will leave Berlin’s Tegel Airport (TXL) as Berlin’s new airport, Berlin Brandenburg (BER), is taking over as the Berlin’s sole hub.
Berlin Tegel was the primary international airport for Berlin, Germany’s Capital city. The airport was the fourth busiest airport in Germany, with over 24 million passengers in 2019. The airport once served as a base for Air Berlin (operations ceased 2017), Eurowings, Ryanair and British low-cost carrier EasyJet.
The airport will permanently close on 8 November 2020 with the last flight being Air France 1235 to Paris.flights have been transferred to the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Berlin Tegel will be officially decommissioned as an airfield after a legally required transitional period on 3 May 2021.
Berlin Tegel served many destinations ranging from Doha to Dublin. Despite Berlin’s importance in Germany, TXL only handled eight long-haul carriers prior to the pandemic. Long haul carriers included: Qatar Airways, United, Scoot, Delta & Hainan Airlines. Along with this short-haul carriers including: British Airways , Lufthansa, EasyJet, Air France, Ryanair, TAP Air Portugal, Swiss (With Zurich being the bushiest destination from Tegel in 2018), SAS, Alitalia and many more.
Berlin Tegel played a major role in the Cold War and enabled supplies to be delivered to the citizens of West Berlin due to the Berlin Blockade, which began on 24 June 1948. It was revealed that Berlin’s existing main airport at Tempelhof was not big enough to accommodate relief aircraft. In response, the French military authorities in charge of Tegel ordered the construction of a 2,428 m (7,966 ft) long runway, the longest in Europe at the time. Groundbreaking took place on 5 August 1948 and 90 days later, on 5 November 1948, a United States Air Force Douglas C-54 Skymaster became the first aircraft to land at the new airport.
In the late 1950s, the runways at West Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport had become too short to accommodate the new-generation jet aircraft such as the Aérospatiale Caravelle, Boeing 707, de Havilland Comet, and McDonald Douglas DC-8. Air France became the first Airline to commence regular commercial operations at TXL on January 2nd 1960 with Pan Am and British Airways soon following suit.
Construction of the new, hexagonally shaped terminal began during the 1960s.14 years after construction began, a British Airways L-1011 Tristar, a Laker Airways McDonnell-Douglas DC-10, a Pan Am Boeing 747-100 and an Air France Airbus A300 were specially flown into TXL for an inauguration of the new terminal on 23 October 1974.
Following the reunification of Germany Lufthansa started flights to Berlin on October 28th 1990. On October 1st 2020, the new Berlin Brandenburg airport received final approval for opening on 31 October 2020, meaning closure of Tegel. Lufthansa concluded their Tegel operations on 7 November 2020 with the last scheduled flight to Munich, which will be specially operated by an Airbus A350-900 to mark the occasion.
The final scheduled flight to leave the airport will be operated by Air France to Paris–Charles de Gaulle on 8 November 2020 some 60 years after the French flag carrier brought commercial aviation to Berlin’s Tegel Airport.
Berlin Tegel Airport-
Total Area- 466 Hectares
Stands- 15 (airbridge) 39 (remote stands)
Runways- 2 (3,023m & 2,438m long)
Tower Height- 47.5m
Airport-Listed Building since 2019
Original planned capacity (1974)-2.5 million passengers/year
Actual capacity (2019)-24.2 Million passengers/year
SPECIAL THANKS TO (AIRLINERS.NET)-Ralf Manteufel, Peter Seemann, Paul Thallon, Marc Hasenbein, Axel J.,André Kröcher, Frank Kuehne, Kevin Gutt, Patrick Schwarzschulz, Perry Tan, Stephan Karl, Marcel Mueller, Sascha Kretschmer, Dennis Hein for the photos above.
There is no doubt that Berlin Tegel airport will be missed. It shaped German aviation and enabled crucial supplies to reach the citizens of West Berlin. It has been the hub for the capital of Germany for over 30 years and its closure has been met with despair. While I have never visited TXL it appears to be an Airport with a history and a connection with many, we now look to the future with Berlin Brandenburg taking over as Berlin’s main airport from tomorrow (9/11/20). Goodbye and #DankeTXL.