Passengers warned of Easter delays at Berlin Brandenburg airport
Berlin Brandenburg Airport in Germany's capital is expecting around one million passengers over the Easter holidays and facing a lack of staff.
Passengers at Berlin's BER airport should prepare for longer waiting times over the Easter holidays, as thin staffing coupled with a spike in travelers is likely to lead to bottlenecks.
The airport's manager, Aletta von Massenbach, recently told DPA: "In principle, the staffing level for Easter travel is sufficient, but not comfortable… many people have left the companies at BER during the move and because of the pandemic. Recruiting new staff is a challenge."
What amounted to adequate staffing levels from January to March is likely to be insufficient for the peaks which are expected in April. The busiest days are likely to be Friday, April 8th and the Sunday before school starts on April 24. On both days, the airport expects around 70,000 passengers, while for other days throughout the Easter break, between 50,000 to 65,000 daily travelers are anticipated.
Understaffing of the ground service providers – who take care of things like loading and unloading luggage – and workers at the security checks, could contribute to the delays.
However, von Massenbach assured potential passengers that the airport was "working flat out to prepare for vacation traffic".
The new Terminal 2, which opened a few weeks ago, could also provide some relief as the technical equipment of the security lanes is more modern, allowing more people to be checked with less staff.
Looking ahead to the weeks after Easter, the situation is unlikely to get any easier as passenger numbers continue to rise.
"We all have the summer flight schedule in mind. All partners at the airport know we need even more staff for this travel season, and everyone is currently recruiting as well as training the new staff", von Massenbach said.
Nevertheless, more travellers are also good news for the economically struggling airport: "We are looking forward to the passengers and ultimately to the fact that there is a certain normalization," the airport manager added.