Finally the new Berlin airport opened its doors.

The new Berlin International Airport (BER) went into operation this Saturday, nine years late and in a context where the air sector is going through the worst crisis in its history due to the pandemic.

See also: Heathrow airport loses crown as the busiest airport in Europe.

Two special flights, one from Lufthansa and the other from Easyjet, landed near 2:00 p.m., reported AFP, to mark the official launch of Willy-Brandt Airport in the southeast of the German capital.

The first commercial flight, between Berlin and London, is scheduled for Sunday.

However, there will be no big celebrations at the opening of the facilities, due to the health crisis, but also as a result of all the setbacks that have shaken this great project created after reunification (failures, negligence, suspected corruption, resignations, among others).

See also: The European aviation industry is testing a system to exchange flight information in real time.

On Saturday, a hundred demonstrators from various environmental associations gathered at the site, amidst strong security measures, to protest against its opening, according to AFP journalists.

The construction of the “BER”, with an area of 360,000 m2 and whose terminal 1 could accommodate 27 million people a year according to the operators, began in 2006, and should be completed in 2011.

Its initial cost, estimated at 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion), increased to 6.5 billion ($7.65 billion).

In 2012, the works had to stop suddenly because the fire safety devices were not working. The opening, scheduled a few weeks later in the presence of Angela Merkel and 10,000 spectators, had to be hastily cancelled.

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