The number of passengers at the capital airports Tegel and Schoenefeld hit an all-time high of more than 24 million in 2011. A total of 24,033,456 passengers were recorded, 7.7 per cent more than in 2010 and thus better than the average international commercial airport in Germany (up approx. 4.5 per cent on 2010) for the ninth year in a row (source: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Verkehrsflughäfen (ADV) – Association of German Commercial Airports). This result has enabled Berlin Airports to consolidate its position in third place in the ranking of German commercial airports and is expected to increase its market share to more than 12 per cent.
Tegel Airport became the sole growth driver in 2011: a total of 16,919,467 passengers were recorded, 1,893,867 more than in the previous year (+12.6 per cent). Tegel Airport thus more than doubled the number of passengers originally expected when the airport was built during its last full year of operation.
As the aviation industry expected, the introduction of aviation tax had a negative impact on Schoenefeld Airport. This brought the airport's successful growth record to an abrupt end: Schoenefeld Airport recorded a total of 7,113,989 passengers in 2011, 2.5 per cent less than in the previous year.
Tegel and Schoenefeld combined recorded 242,961 aircraft movements last year (+3.3 per cent). Aircraft capacity utilisation rose to 72.6 per cent (+1.5 percentage points), while the average aircraft size increased from 133 to 136 seats.
Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarz, CEO of Berlin Brandenburg Airport sums up events: "2011 was another record year. 24 million passengers provide further momentum for the opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt. This traffic result far exceeds the original targets set for the opening year – and that's before the airport even goes into operation. Another particularly positive development is the increase in aircraft capacity utilisation – proof of a strong aviation market in the capital region. It is important in 2012 that we take advantage of this superb start and continue to demonstrate moderate and sustainable growth."
Traffic figures in detail
Qualitative growth defined the trend in air traffic in the capital region in 2011, with attractive connections for business travellers and frequent flyers developing particularly positively. Most passengers took domestic flights to Munich (1,912,885 passengers; +5.2 per cent) and European flights to London (1,362,771 passengers; +6.3 per cent). Amsterdam was the biggest growth market last year from Berlin (+181,892 passengers; +42.1 per cent). The most popular long-haul route flown in 2011 was New York (233,355 passengers; +12.0 per cent).
The biggest increase in domestic traffic was recorded on the Frankfurt am Main route (+11.4 per cent). Around two-thirds of all 1,794,173 passengers used Frankfurt Airport solely as a transfer point – primarily to destinations in North America. This confirms the general increase in demand for flights to North America. airberlin is also responding to this market trend by adding Berlin–New York (May 2011) and Berlin–Los Angeles (May 2012) to its flight schedule.
The biggest market growth rates came from European traffic: a total of 14,834,183 passengers (+13.7 per cent) were recorded. Strong growth was once again recorded on routes outside Europe: the number of passengers in international air traffic rose last year by 7.2 per cent to 1,176,638 (approx. five per cent of total traffic). The most noticeable increase was seen on the 13 long-haul flights: up 36.3 per cent to 703,781 passengers. With 8,022,635 passengers, the demand for domestic flights was down on the year by 1.9 percent.
The number of transit passengers also continued to increase in Berlin in 2011. At 1.7 per cent in 2009 and 3.4 per cent in 2010, transit passengers were estimated to account for around 4.1 per cent of total traffic in 2011 (53.6 percentage points compared to 2010).
In 2011, a total of 31,214 tonnes of air freight were transported at the airports Tegel and Schoenefeld; 4,327 tonnes more than in 2010 (+16.1 per cent). Belly freight business is booming (+29 per cent), particularly on long-haul flights. Up to 3,000 additional tonnes of air freight per year are expected at the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport with each new long-haul route.
Outlook 2012: the dawn of a new era
The opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt on 3 June 2012 marks the dawn of a new era in air traffic in the capital region. Airlines will continue to position themselves with new routes and increased frequencies throughout the year.
Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarz, CEO of Berlin Airports: "Our three biggest airline partners – airberlin, Lufthansa and easyJet – will significantly increase their activities. The people of Berlin and Brandenburg can look forward to a total of around 40 new non-stop flights in the months to come. Air traffic in the capital region will remain a stable growth market."
New destinations include Milan-Linate and Beirut (Lufthansa, from 9 January and 3 June 2012 respectively), Rhodes and Mykonos (easyJet, from 23 and 24 June 2012 respectively), Leeds (Jet2.com, from 1 June 2012), Trondheim and Aalborg (Norwegian, from 28 March and 4 May 2012 respectively) as well as new long-haul routes with airberlin to Abu Dhabi (from 15 January 2012) and Los Angeles (from 11 May 2012).
Traffic figures in December
In December 2011, a total of 1,792,663 passengers used the capital airports (11.1 percent more than in the same month the previous year). This good result was positively impacted by a base effect: in December 2010, numerous flights were cancelled due to severe winter weather.
1,257,907 passengers were recorded in December in Tegel (+17.7 per cent), 534,756 passengers in Schoenefeld (-2.0 per cent).
The number of aircraft movements increased in December by 6.4 per cent to 17,954. At 2,483 tonnes, air freight was up 11.6 per cent on the year.