Berlin Schönefeld Airport
|Operator||Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||157 ft / 48 m|
Berlin Schönefeld Airport (Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld (help·info)) (IATA: SXF, ICAO: EDDB) is the secondary international airport of Berlin, the capital of Germany. It is located 18 km (11 mi) southeast of Berlin near the town of Schönefeld in the state of Brandenburg and borders Berlin's southern boundary. It is the smaller of the two airports in Berlin, after Berlin Tegel Airport, and is a base for easyJet and Ryanair. In 2017 the airport handled 12.9 million passengers by serving mainly European metropolitan and leisure destinations. Schönefeld Airport was the major civil airport of East Germany (GDR) and the only airport of the former East Berlin.
On 31 October 2020 the Schönefeld name and airport code are slated to cease use with large parts of its infrastructure being incorporated into the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (IATA: BER, ICAO: EDDB) as its Terminal 5 with its sections renamed to L, K, Q and M. Schönefeld's terminal buildings are intended to be used until at least 2026 with Ryanair as their primary tenant.
On 15 October 1934 construction began to build three 800 metres (2,600 ft) long runways to serve the Henschel aircraft plant in Schönefeld. By the end of the Second World War, over 14,000 aircraft had been built. On 22 April 1945, the facilities were occupied by Soviet troops, and the plant was dismantled and demolished. By late 1947, the railway connection had been repaired and agricultural machinery was built and repaired on the site.
In 1946, the Soviet Air Forces moved from Johannisthal Air Field to Schönefeld, including the civil airline Aeroflot. In 1947, the Soviet Military Administration in Germany approved the construction of a civilian airport at the site.
A stipulation of the Four Power Agreement following World War II was a total ban on German carriers' participation in air transport to Berlin, where access was restricted to American, British, French, and Soviet airlines. Since Schönefeld airport was located outside the city boundaries of Berlin, this restriction did not apply. Thus, aircraft of the East German flag carrier Interflug could use Schönefeld airport, while West German Lufthansa was denied access to Tegel or Tempelhof airports.
Berlin Schönefeld Airport has seen a major increase in passenger numbers over recent years, which was caused by the opening of bases for both easyJet and Germanwings. In 2008, the airport served 6.6 million passengers.
Following German reunification in 1990, operating three separate airports became increasingly cost-prohibitive, leading the Berlin legislature to pursue plans for a single airport that would be more efficient and would decrease the amount of aircraft noise from airports within the city. Therefore, it was decided to build Berlin Brandenburg Airport at the current site of Schönefeld Airport, originally scheduled to open in late 2012. For various reasons, mainly issues with the fire alarm/safety system, the opening has been postponed to November 2020.
The new airport will share only one runway with the existing one - the current runway will become the north runway of the new airport. Most of the old Schönefeld Airport, including the terminal and apron areas, will undergo complete urban redevelopment following its closure. Part of the old apron area will be used by the future new passenger terminal of the German government used for state visits and other state flight operations.
At the start of the winter season in 2012 Germanwings left Schönefeld for Berlin-Tegel to maintain closer operations within the Lufthansa Group there. However, to provide competition for Ryanair's new routes, Germanwings announced a return to Schönefeld in addition to their Tegel operations from October 2015.
Aer Lingus also announced it would switch airports within Berlin, from Schönefeld to Tegel, by March 2015. Meanwhile, Ryanair announced the establishment of their sixth German base in Schönefeld by 27 October 2015 by deploying five aircraft to the airport and adding 16 new routes.
On 2 May 2015, aircraft departing from Schönefeld became the first commercial flights to use the southern runway of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which temporarily became Schönefeld's only runway while its own, which will become the northern runway of the new airport, was renovated.
Extension work at Schönefeld Airport was completed in 2016. Terminal K was extended by approx. 600 square metres (6,500 sq ft) and the baggage area was also enlarged by 40 per cent. Terminal M2, an entirely new arrival terminal was built west of Terminal M. Spanning almost 3,800 square metres (41,000 sq ft), this building features three baggage carousels and the coach parking area was relocated to a new area in P6.
The airport is still seeing exceptionally high growth of passenger numbers with Berlin's economic growth. As of November 2016, the airport operates near full capacity despite several additions to the infrastructure in recent years. As of late 2018, construction works began to upgrade the airport to be used as part of its successor, nearby Berlin Brandenburg Airport until at least 2026.
Since August 2020, Schönefeld Airport consists of the four renamed terminals K, L, M, and Q. These terminals are located next to each other but have separate landside areas. However, they are connected through a joint airside concourse. Terminal Q has no check-in facilities, it is used exclusively for passengers clearing security checks to enter the airside boarding gates. Due to a lack of space, there are not as many facilities as those at many other international airports. There are some shops, however, including duty-free, newsstands, a few fast food restaurants, and a single airline lounge. As of April 2020, the four terminals A, B, C, D were given new names K, L, M, Q to avoid duplicate names of terminal sections of the new Berlin-Brandenburg Airport.
The main building is the original part of the airport. It houses check-in for Terminals K and L. Terminal L features check-in counters L01-L18, with the largest user being Ryanair alongside several other airlines like Aeroflot.
Terminal K, located in a side wing, was originally reserved for transit passengers to and from West Berlin who took advantage of cheaper airfares and package tours arranged by an East German travel agency. Nowadays, it is used exclusively by EasyJet with check-in counters K20-K29 and has been refurbished in recent years. The airside consists of three jet bridges as well as several walk-boarding aircraft stands located at Pier 3a, an extension that was opened in 2005. Pier 3a was under extensive reconstruction until mid-2019 to allow use as part of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport.
Terminal Q was originally built in the early 1980s as an external VIP lounge called "Sonderraum" (Special Room), and was tightly secured by the Ministry for State Security (Stasi). Admitted were only official guests of the East German government and its subordinated organizations. Check-in and all mandatory controls were either waived or done invisibly for travelers. After 1990, the Special Room was converted into Terminal Q to accommodate highly security-sensitive flights like those of Israeli airlines, but also for charter flights to North America. It was reconfigured in 2008 to handle sightseeing trips and flights in connection with special events. It was further reconfigured in 2015 to provide access to all terminal gates. To reduce congestion in other terminals, it now houses additional security checkpoints for passengers who are checked in and have checked their luggage or only carry hand luggage.
Terminal M was opened in December 2005 due to rapidly growing passenger numbers. Being nearly identical to Terminal C at Berlin Tegel Airport, it features check-in counters M40-M57, which are mainly used by Ryanair, Condor, and Norwegian Air Shuttle. It does not feature jet bridges but several walk-boarding stands. In November 2016, the new 4,500 square metres (48,000 sq ft) large arrivals area M2 opened right next to Terminal M.
The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Berlin Schönefeld Airport:
|Air Algérie||Seasonal: Algiers|
|Bluebird Airways||Seasonal: Tel Aviv|
|Condor|| Fuerteventura,Gran Canaria,Lanzarote,Tenerife-South|
|easyJet|| Amsterdam, Barcelona, Basel/Mulhouse, Bordeaux, Bristol, Copenhagen, Geneva, Glasgow, Larnaca, Lisbon, Liverpool, Ljubljana, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Luxembourg, Lyon, Málaga, Marrakesh, Marseille, Milan-Malpensa, Naples, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Pisa, Pristina, Salzburg, Seville, Stockholm-Arlanda, Tel Aviv, Tenerife-South, Thessaloniki, Toulouse, Turin, Valencia, Vienna |
Seasonal: Aqaba, Athens, Bastia, Comiso,Corfu, Dubrovnik, Faro, Gran Canaria, Heraklion, Lanzarote, La Palma, Olbia, Pula, Rhodes, Split, Tallinn, Varna, Zadar, Zakynthos
|El Al||Tel Aviv|
|Holiday Europe||Seasonal charter: Dubai-Al Maktoum,Fuerteventura,Hurghada, Marsa Alam,Sharm El Sheikh|
| Copenhagen, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda|
|Onur Air||Seasonal: Antalya|
|Pegasus Airlines|| Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen |
|Rossiya Airlines||Saint Petersburg|
|Ryanair|| Alicante, Athens, Barcelona, Bari, Bergamo, Bologna, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Catania, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Fuerteventura, Kerry, Kyiv-Boryspil, Lanzarote, Lisbon, London-Stansted, Madrid, Málaga, Malta, Manchester, Marrakesh, Ni?, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Podgorica, Porto, Riga, Rome-Ciampino, Seville, Sofia, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, Treviso, Valencia, Yerevan|
Seasonal: Eilat, Faro,Zadar
|Wizz Air||Budapest, Chi?in?u, Cluj-Napoca, Kharkiv,Kyiv-Zhuliany, Kutaisi, Lviv, Odessa, Skopje, Tirana, Tuzla, Varna|
|Rank||Destination||All passengers||Operating airlines|
|1||Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion||290,622||Astra Airlines, Easyjet, El Al|
|2||Istanbul-Sabiha Gökcen||153,251||Pegasus Airlines|
|3||Antalya||128,805||Corendon Airlines, Freebird Airlines, Germania, Pegasus Airlines|
|4||Hurghada||71,213||Corendon Airlines, Germania|
Berlin Schönefeld Airport is served by Berlin-Schönefeld Flughafen railway station, a short walking distance through a ground-level covered walkway from the airport terminals K-Q. Berlin Central Station (Berlin Hbf) is served directly by regional trains (RE Regional-Express or RB Regional-Bahn). These run every 30 minutes and transit through Berlin Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstraße, Berlin Central Station (after 30 minutes), Zoologischer Garten, Charlottenburg, and beyond. Berlin S-Bahn lines S9 and S45 run every twenty minutes, but only the S9 goes through Berlin Central Station.
The airport can be reached via the nearby motorway A113 (Exit Schönefeld Süd) which itself is connected to motorways A100 which leads to Berlin city center and A10 which circles around Berlin and connects further to all directions.
The airport is linked by local BVG bus lines 162 (towards Adlershof) and 171 (towards Neukölln). Additionally the X7 bus service provides a connection to the Berlin U-Bahn network at Rudow Station. At night, the underground replacement bus N7 is available.
Media related to Berlin Schönefeld Airport at Wikimedia Commons