and will claim damages from Berlin Airports to compensate for the delayed opening of Brandenburg International Airport (BBI).
The airport company last week conceded that the planned June 3 opening date for BBI cannot be maintained, with CEO Rainer Schwarz citing issues with the terminal fire protection system. Numerous reports have since indicated that other aspects of the projects also are lacking, and according to one article, the airport’s completion is two months behind schedule.
Air Berlin is hardest hit by the delay because the airline was about to introduce a six-wave hub-and-spoke system with the new airport, which it cannot implement at Berlin Tegel Airport. Lufthansa, too, has plans to boost capacity in Berlin 40% when it shifts operations to BBI.
The two large German airlines now want to start operations at BBI at the end of October, when demand is weaker, reflecting an initial launch plan for 2011 before delays pushed the opening to June.
Brandenburg Prime Minister Matthias Platzeck and Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit last week pushed for a new opening date at the end of August, but given industry opposition, that is becoming increasingly unlikely.