In November 2020, Berlin-Tegel Airport TXL was closed to flight operations forever. Spotting.tv´s Thomas Job was witness of plane movements in the last few days (and nights) and describes his impressions here. Click additional links & embedded movies to follow this historical event again.
In Germany it only happens every decades that an airport is opened or closed. When Tegel was closed, things were particularly emotional because for many Berliners a piece of their personal (travel) history is related to this ensemble from the 1970s by famous german architect Meinhard von Gerkan.
Tegel (the international airport code is TXL) polarized more and more until recently. Due to the long delay in the opening of the new BER airport Berlin Brandenburg near Schönefeld, Tegel was overloaded beyond its capacity limits without carrying out compensatory construction measures or other changes, because “it is no longer worth it”. This led to occasional tightness and chaos in baggage handling or reloading on transfer flights. The lack of a rail link was also repeatedly criticized, postponed and finally the idea canceled.
What was special about Berlin-Tegel Airport?!
Airplane fans were able to use the famous and unique hexagonal visitor terrace for free in the last weeks of Tegel, although you had to register in advance and unfortunately this access option was occupied very quickly.
The author of these lines (Thomas Job) had the great opportunity to capture the historical moments in live streams and to exchange ideas with the aviation fan community worldwide in real time. This took place on different channels. Tuesday evening with the longest water fountain from Eurowings and the last official scheduled flight from Berlin-Tegel to Düsseldorf will be particularly well remembered. The video is available at Planemania.TV on the Facebook channel here. This post from November 3rd, 2020 had over 30,000 views.
The “last flights” phase extended over several days. Every airline that flew its route from / to Tegel for the last time received a water salute from the airport fire brigade. We show the most beautiful watersalutes in this video * on Youtube:
We can show a lot of scenes in these videos because our cooperation with other planspotters works very well. We would like to take this opportunity to thank PlaneWorldBerlin again. This channel is one of the ones on Youtube with the most high quality videos of all TXL aircraft. There are also other unique farewell videos that we unreservedly recommend. (e.g. the last Eurowings flight as part of the positioning from Tegel to BER on the evening of November 7th, 2020. – PlaneWorldBerlin was also on the last Lufthansa flight from Munich to Tegel in the Airbus A350, the video is linked here.)
Friday, November 6th 2020
Friday was the penultimate “normal” day of operation. I was allowed to go back to the beautiful visitor terrace, which offered a fantastic view of the parked and taking off / landing aircraft without a fence or glass. I could catch two highlights of the evening. I filmed the farewell of Iberia´s Airbus A320 and the ATR42 turboprop from DAT. This Danish / Lithuanian airline connects Berlin with Saarbrücken in Saarland. We have published this live stream on the Facebook page of Spotting.TV. The direct link to Facebook is here.
Saturday November 7th, 2020
On Saturday Thomas was able to enjoy his last evening on the visitor terrace at Tegel Airport. This night was special because Lufthansa sent an Airbus A350 with the registration D-AIXI to the capital for the last flight. We broadcasted the livestream on Planemania’s Facebook page, this reached over 66,000 views. Here is the link to the Tegel stream with LH on Facebook. The last two departures of the day were Sundair and Eurowings to Berlin Brandenburg Airport. There is also a stream link for this.
The special thing about that day was the fact that we knew or met people who had tickets for the flights and provided us with the latest information and pictures from inside the aircraft. As an example we see Gesa on the last flight with Eurowings. Some minutes before she was our interview partner on the terrace and commented on the arrival of the Lufthansa Airbus A350 on Planemania.TV.
I myself was there until the very end of the evening, when the staff on the APRON asked for the last dance. A very emotional farewell dance in the livestream on Facebook, again published by Planemania. Click on the picture to get there:
Last TXL day, November 8th 2020
It was particularly tearful and emotional on the very last day of operation, Sunday November 8th, 2020 at Berlin-Tegel Airport. I was allowed to go to the APRON (at the invitation of Air France, unfortunately the airport had unloaded me again) and could do my part for a fantastic documentary. Merci Air France!
The historical importance of this flight came across very well in the livestream (link to AF1235 on Facebook here). The documentary summary of Planemania with numerous camera positions and the cockpit flight is even better. This includes everything, a conversation with the pilot of the AF1235 on the very last flight of an airplane from Berlin-Tegel TXL. They choosed Air France with the destination Paris CDG because the first flight to Tegel in the 1960s arrived from there. You see water salute from the cockpit view, landing in Paris from inside and outside (thanks to planespotter Marouane “From Brussels to the Sky” and much more. Look at the little journey of the Air France Airbus A320 on Youtube* below. If you wish english comment by Spotting.TV´s co-founder Daniel Vogt click here at Planemania´s Facebook page:
With the hashtags #TXL4ever, #dankeTXL and # AF1235 you can get more impressions of these eventful days around the closure of Berlin-Tegel TXL Airport.
What is the future of Berlin-Tegel Airport?
Initially, the entire site will remain in its current state as an airport for another 6 months until spring 2021. The reason for this are the contracts for the opening of the new BER Berlin Brandenburg airport. If something goes wrong over a longer period of time, you can reactivate Tegel if necessary.
After this time, the Tegel site will be heavily redesigned. Some buildings are under monument protection and therefore preserved. Under the title “Urban Tech Republic” an area is being created with numerous new apartments, a university of technology, office spaces and industrial buildings. The runways are being redesigned into a landscape park.