Berlin airport has confirmed plans to temporarily close its Terminal 5 later this month, due to the fall in passenger numbers caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former Berlin Schonefeld was renamed BER Terminal 5 when the new Berlin Brandenburg airport finally opened on October 31, 2020.

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But as previously reported, the airport has decided to temporarily close the terminal in order to save costs.

This date has now been set for February 23, with the closure initially lasting for one year.

In a statement the airport said:

“Passenger numbers worldwide have fallen drastically on account of the Coronavirus pandemic, meaning the expected volume of traffic can be handled entirely at Terminal 1 until further notice.

“The savings from concentrating air traffic to Terminal 1 amount to around €25 million for the year.

“The new, fully completed and operational Terminal 2 will also not be put into operation for the time being. As soon as passenger numbers increase again, the handling capacities of Terminal 2 and subsequently Terminal 5 will gradually be reincorporated as is required.”

Commenting on the news Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, chief executive officer of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH, said:

“This year, the airport company must again assume that passenger numbers will remain far below the pre-crisis level. We assume that in 2021 we will be able to handle around ten million passengers safely and comfortable in Terminal 1.

“This step reduces costs and expenses for the year by about €25 million. Terminal 5 will still be promptly available to us if the need arises. The dormant operation is organised in such a way that Terminal 5 can be up and running again within a few weeks when it is needed again.”