A number of travellers, myself included, had hoped Berlin Tegel airport would remain open after the long-delayed Brandenburg opens at the end of October.

But now the signs are Tegel will close for good as originally intended.

Assuming all goes well when Brandenburg opens, then Tegel’s closure could be as early as November 8 according to airliners.de.

What has reinforced the decision is the traffic decline since Covid-19.

In April traffic was down by 99 per cent and even now the decline is around 90 per cent.

Europe’s largest airlines such as Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa are saying it will take four years for normality to return. And that is assuming everything goes according to plan.

And with Germany’s Climate Package the government wants more people to take the train rather than the plane so we can expect fewer short-haul air travellers.

As part of the package Germany cut VAT on rail fares (it was as high as 19 per cent for ICE services) whilst at the same time airport tax was hiked.

Germany: higher air but lower rail prices

To cater for expected rail growth the government has provided Deutsche Bahn with one billion Euros so it can acquire additional ICE trains.

What will become of Tegel? A “Schumacher Quarter” is planned for the site, extending over five square km. More details can be seen here.

When Tegel closes, Berliners will lament its convenience. On the other hand they will gain a modern airport and, it is hoped, more long-haul routes in the future (currently Germany’s capital city is served by few long-haul airlines and none at all with national carrier Lufthansa).