$7Billion Berlin Airport Opens

Berlin’s $7bn airport opens as Liberia inaugurates national carrier Lone Star Air

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Following an eight-year delay in project completion, Berlin’s new airport will finally welcome passengers opening its doors just as fallout from the novel Coronavirus knocks travel demand around the world.

The limestone floors have been polished smooth, the ticket counters buffed and shops stocked with wares, as the Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport, known by its airport code , prepares for inaugural flight Saturday, October 31, says agency report.

However, the facility will just be a stunted version of the original plan, according to report.

A second terminal won’t open for now because it’s not needed in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Cord Schellenberg, a Hamburg-based aviation analyst, said: “No one would build a new airport now.

“But maybe that’s the airport’s opportunity — it’s getting somewhat of a soft opening, giving authorities time to ensure all is running smoothly.”

The airport’s history is said to be an embarrassing tale for Germany’s exalted reputation for punctuality and engineering prowess.

The construction was reported to have started in 2006, and the planned launch in June 2012 was scrapped just weeks in advance, with moving trucks ready to roll and tickets issued.

Initially, authorities blamed the postponement on fire-safety issues, and claimed the hiccup would be fixed within a few months.

However, deeper planning disasters gradually came to light, and the opening was pushed back multiple times in the subsequent years.

At Berlin’s new airport, defects included automatic doors that lacked electricity, escalators that were too short, and a smoke-extraction system so complex, yet ineffective, it was dubbed “the Monster”, report stated.

The project’s costs have tripled to more than 6 billion euros ($7 billion), and the fiasco contributed to the departure of Klaus Wowereit as mayor of Berlin — the colorful politician who coined the description of the German capital as “poor, but sexy.”

In the process, the canceled opening wounded stores, restaurants and hotels nearby, and hit airlinesm including Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Air Berlin, which went bust five years later.

In the meantime, Turkey and China built two much larger airports in Istanbul and Beijing in shorter spans than BER’s delay.

Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of Liberia

In a related development, Liberian President, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has inaugurated a new national carrier for the West African country, named Lone Star Air, about 30 years after the country’s previous airline went bust.

The Liberian President at a ceremony at Liberia’s international airport, near the capital Monrovia, Friday, October 30, Weah said the new airline would “connect our country to our region and to the world.”

Weah stated: “It is my dream, my hope and my ambition that we will very soon see Lone Star Air, the wings of Liberia, flying our flag in international skies, shining so brightly.”

Liberia’s flag bears resemblance to the flag of the United States, but features one star instead of 50.

The country was founded in the 19th century with US support as a home for freed American slaves, whose descendants have a long history of dominating political life.

According to a statement by Lone Star Air, Liberia currently has no active national carrier, with the country’s former airline folding in the early 1990s,

The airline initially plans to operate flights between Monrovia and regional hubs, such as Abidjan in Ivory Coast or Nigeria’s Lagos, stated the report.

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