Berlin - Berlin's new superairport, Berlin Brandenburg airport (BER), is losing around €1 million per day. Airport boss Engelbert Lütke Daldrup named the dramatic figure on rbb TV's Brandenburg aktuell show. The reason he gave for the losses was primarily the massive corona-related slump in passenger numbers.
Before the corona crisis, around 100,000 air passengers passed through Berlin every day - but this is now down to just 10,000 per day, Lütke Daldrup wrote on the BER website.
To further cut costs during the pandemic, Terminal 5 (formerly known as Schönefeld Airport) could be closed as early as February. Plans had already been tabled to close the terminal from March for a year. In addition, numerous airport employees are currently on part-time furlough (Kurzarbeit).
The airport's passenger numbers aren't the only thing to be severely affected by corona. Cargo business has also declined sharply. "In this universally difficult situation, it has become clear how important a good cargo infrastructure is for the Berlin region," the airport CEO said.
The financial loss is the latest in a series of unfortunate events for BER. The airport has long been the butt of jokes about the time and money poured into its construction: it opened in October 2020, nine years late and at a total spend of €7 billion, more than three times over its initial budget of €2 billion. Its grand opening - already dampened because of the pandemic - was also subject to protests by climate activists.