The operator of Berlin’s overdue new airport says it has begun to allocate space to airlines ahead of a targeted October 2020 opening.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport announced that Easyjet and Lufthansa will be in Terminal 1, Eurowings will be in Terminal 2, which is currently under construction, and Ryanair will use the current Schönefeld Airport terminals, which will be converted to Terminal 5. Around 80 more airlines will be given their locations in the coming weeks.

The new airport for the German capital was initially scheduled to open in 2011 but has been hit by numerous delays. The project has run more than three times over budget to an estimated €7.3 billion.

The airport recently held its first meeting with relevant authorities and ground handling services.

Operators FBB said in a statement yesterday: “With just under a year and a half before the October 2020 opening, the establishment of the airlines’ location for flight operations at BER has begun.”

Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, Chief Executive Officer at FBB, said that “preparations for operations at BER are entering a new phase.”

“The airport, the airlines and other partners have all been individually busy with the start of airline operations, and now we are starting joint preparations together. In order to have a good quality of service from day one, we need this long joint preparation phase – this aspiration motivates us all.”

However a German-language report in from today quotes Daldrup as telling shareholders that “the original security of the opening date in October 2020 can no longer be fully guaranteed.”

Though still unfinished, the airport has long been largely completed. Years of delays have been caused by serious deficiencies found in planning and technical systems, such as faulty sprinkler systems, cables incorrectly installed and a shortage of check-in desks.

Deutsche Bahn runs “ghost” trains in and out of the airport’s dedicated station to keep the system operational, and a four-star Steigenberger hotel has stood empty for seven years.

Hundreds of monitors that have been turned on for six years – though were never seen by a passenger – had to be thrown out last year. Replacing them will cost €500,000.