With airlines throughout the industry beginning to load their summer timetables into their booking systems, I thought it was the right time to go a little deeper into what Lufthansa will be doing when the doors open to Berlin, Germany’s new Berlin Brandenburg Airport(BER).

On June 3, 2012 Berlin Brandenburg will finally open after 16 years of applications, hearings, decisions, financing and construction. The airport is built at the location that is currently occupied by Schönefeld Airport(SXF). Ultimately the facility will be combined into one airport. As part of the greater vision of airports in the Berlin area, all airline operations to Berlin will eventually be carried out from Brandenburg. Once Brandenburg is fully operational, it will allow for the closure of Berlin Tegel. By concentrating air traffic to one airport, city planners hope to eliminate substantial air traffic pollution in the skies over Berlin.

Lufthansa has been a key partner in the evolution of the airport and will be introducing a substantial increase in service to the Berlin area now that it has the capacity to do so. Lufthansa has committed to invest Euro 60 million and will be responsible for the addition of hundreds of jobs including ground agents, flight attendants and pilots.

Some of the highlights of Lufthansa’s presence include:

A 16000 sq. ft (1500 Sq. Meter) Senator / Business Lounge facility. There will also be a dedicated check in area for First Class passengers as well as for Senator and HON elite members of Miles & More.

Consolidated “Check-In” area. In the main terminal, Lufthansa will have 14 Check In counters and 23 self service kiosks for passengers. Star Alliance Partner counters will be integrated with Lufthansa’s making it easy for passengers who will be traveling with Alliance partners.

A Young Fleet. Along with brand new aircraft that Lufthansa will station at Brandenburg, Lufthansa plans to not have any aircraft over 2 years old based at the airport. This is in an attempt to keep maintenance costs down, and keep the airplanes in service more consistently on their routes. However, there will be a new Technik Maintenance Hangar at the airport as well. Their expectation is that 35 aircraft (including partner aircraft) will be dedicated to Brandenburg.

Berlin Based Crews. Lufthansa has created a separate crew base that will be based in Brandenburg specifically for direct flights between Brandenburg and its new portfolio of destinations. 200 Flight attendants and 130 pilots are expected to comprise the new base.

With the new airport, Lufthansa will increase its destination portfolio for Berlin to 38 from its current portfolio of 8. 28 will be new European destinations and 2 will be new routes to the Middle East. I’ve listed the NEW routes here that are effective June 6, 2012:

Berlin(BER) to European Destinations:

Barcelona(BCN), Bastia(BIA), Bergen(BGO),Birmingham(BHX), Bologna(BLQ), Bucharest(OTP), Catania(CTA), Dubrovnik(DBV), Geneva(GVA), Helsinki(HEL), Istanbul(IST), Izmir(ADB), Lyon(LYS), Milan(LIN), Malaga(AGP), Manchester(MAN), Moskow(VKO), Nice(NCE), Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Reykjavik(KEV), Rome(FCO), Split(SPU), Stockholm(ARN), Sylt-Westerland(GWT), Valencia(VLC), Vienna(VIE), Zadar(ZAD), Zagreb(ZAG).

Berlin(BER) to Middle East Destinations:

Beirut(BEY), Tel Aviv (TLV)

In addition the following Star Alliance Partner flights will serve Berlin:

Newark(EWR) by United/Continental
Athens(ATH) by Aegean
Copenhangen(CPH) by SAS
Cairo(CAI) by Egyptair
Warsaw(WAW) by LOT Polish

To celebrate the opening of the new airport, Lufthansa will be naming it’s next new A380 “Berlin” in tribute to the great German city and capital. To christen the airport on it’s opening day, the A380 “Berlin” will be the first aircraft to take off from the airport that day. I think its as good a reason as any for me to book a modest little mileage run to go see it…….