New Berlin airport eyes 25 mln passengers in year one

BERLIN, April 24 Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:17am EDT

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BERLIN, April 24 (Reuters) - The operator of the new Berlin-Brandenburg airport aims to attract 25 million passengers in its first year, with growth coming mainly from connecting flights through the German capital, Chief Executive Rainer Schwarz, said on Tuesday.

Plans by national carrier Lufthansa and Air Berlin to expand services and routes will help growth at the airport, which opens on June 3 to replace the existing Schoenefeld and Tegel airports.

Britain's Easyjet also aims to boost passenger numbers in Berlin, he added.

The new airport has been built on the existing Schoenefeld site. It and Tegel are to shut shortly and together handled 24 million passengers, fewer than half the number at Germany's main airport in Frankfurt.

The operator has invested about 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) so far in the construction of the new airport.

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