Frontier Economics and CMS have produced a report assessing the case for keeping Berlin Tegel airport open. There is currently a legal obligation for Tegel – Berlin’s busiest airport – to close as soon as the city’s new airport Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) opens. BER was originally scheduled to open in 2010. However, after a series of delays it has still not opened, and the eventual opening date remains unclear.
The report, commissioned by Ryanair, finds that there are legal channels through which Tegel could be kept open, and that there is a strong economic case for doing so. If Tegel closes:
- There would be a large reduction in airport capacity in Berlin, resulting in immediate capacity constraints
- There would be a reduction in the potential for airport competition
- There would also be a reduction in passenger choice
The report highlights that if Tegel were to close today, BER would already be constrained. Demand for air travel to and from Berlin has boomed in recent years, considerably outstripping the demand forecasts upon which the plans for BER were based. The report estimates that as a consequence, by 2030, ticket fares could need to rise by more than 50% during peak hours to choke off excess demand, leading to negative wider economic impacts and reduced connectivity.
Frontier Economics regularly advises major airports and airlines on issues related to airport expansion. For an overview of the potential impact of Brexit on the aviation sector, please refer to our recent bulletin ‘Over and out’.
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