Zweibrücken Airport

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Zweibrücken Airport
Flughafen Zweibrücken
Flughafen Zweibrücken Terminal.jpg
IATA: ZQWICAO: EDRZ
Summary
Airport type Defunct
Serves Zweibrücken, Germany
Elevation AMSL 1,133 ft / 345 m
Coordinates 49°12′34″N 07°24′02″E / 49.20944°N 7.40056°E / 49.20944; 7.40056Coordinates: 49°12′34″N 07°24′02″E / 49.20944°N 7.40056°E / 49.20944; 7.40056
Website flughafen-zweibruecken.de
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
03/21 8,776 2,675 Concrete
Statistics (2013)
Passengers 220,740 (-9,1%)
Aircraft movements 11,855 (-10,4%)
Cargo volume 81 tons (+103%)
Source:[1]

Zweibrücken Airport (IATA: ZQWICAO: EDRZ), or Flughafen Zweibrücken in German, is a minor international airport in Zweibrücken, Germany. It is the smaller of the two passenger airports in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, the other being Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Zweibrücken currently only features general aviation as all scheduled services ceased by November 2014 due to the airport's financial struggle.[2]

History[edit]

Development into a civil airport[edit]

Zweibrücken Airport is located on the site of the former Zweibrücken Air Base which was shut down in 1991. It is only about 40 km (25 mi) away by road from Saarbrücken Airport and therefore directly competes with it.

In 2006, Germanwings began a new twice-daily service to Berlin Schönefeld Airport, but ceased them in 2011 due to expensive airports taxes. The airport also used to have regular scheduled service operated by Ryanair to London Stansted Airport. The service was announced on 27 May 2008, but ceased already one year later in May 2009.

In 2010 264,247 passengers used the airport, while 242,880 passengers used it in 2012.[3]

A twice per week service was also operated between Zweibrücken and Antalya by Sky Airlines until the airline ceased operations due to financial problems in 2013. These flights were replaced by Atlasjet during summer 2013 season, and have been taken over by Freebird Airlines for summer 2014. On 3 November 2013, Air Berlin stopped its weekly summer seasonal route to Palma de Mallorca on behalf of TUI, but those flights have been replaced by TUIfly and Germania for the 2014 summer season. In July 2014, TUIfly inaugurated the new seasonal route to Ankara, the airport's third destination in Turkey after Antalya and Istanbul. As of this date, TUIfly operates eight routes out of Zweibrücken Airport, making it one of their focus cities.

Bankruptcy[edit]

In July 2014, it has been reported that the European Commission will decide that up to 56 million Euros of subsidies for the airport have been illegal and need to be paid back.[4] Due to this decision, on 24 July, Zweibrücken Airport filed for bankruptcy.[5] One of the reasons for the Commission's decision is the close proximity to Saarbrücken Airport, which exists much longer.[6] While it is planned to keep the airport for general aviation,[6] all commercial passenger operations were expected to cease by the end of the 2014 summer schedule.[6][7] TUIfly decided to provide financial support for the airport to guarantee uninterupted operations until the end of their summer schedule in November 2014.[8]

However, in September 2014, TUIfly announced the closure of their Zweibrücken base as of 8 November 2014. As a replacement, several of their eight scheduled leisure routes, for example to Palma de Mallorca and Gran Canaria, will be relocated to nearby Saarbrücken Airport.[9][10] Additionally, Pegasus Airlines' scheduled seasonal service to Istanbul ceased by 29 September 2014 without resumption in 2015.[11] The fate of the few remaining summer seasonal charter flights, for example those of Air VIA to Burgas, remains unclear for the 2015 summer season.

The last scheduled flight took off from Zweibrücken at 13:40 p.m. on 3rd November inbound Fuerteventura, also remaining as the last TUIfly operation at the airport and marking the closure of its focus city. Since that day, all scheduled operations at the airport ceased for the upcoming entire winter season while most of the staff will be laid off due to a lack of funding to keep operations running.[2]

Facilities[edit]

Zweibrücken Airport features a small terminal building equipped with three aircraft stands next to it. As there are no jet bridges, walk-boarding is used. The airport usually handles mid-sized aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320 family.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

All scheduled operations at Zweibrücken Airport ceased by 3 November 2014 due to a lack of funding for the upcoming winter season.[2] The airport used to feature scheduled and charter flights to leisure destinations around the Mediterranean. A resumption of services for the 2015 summer season has yet to be announced and remains unclear.

The nearest other minor international airport is the aforementioned Saarbrücken Airport, only approx. 40 km (25 mi) away.

Statistics[edit]

A Piper Aerostar general aviation aircraft at Zweibrücken Airport
Number of passengers
2006 78,000
2007 Increase 288,000
2008 Increase 327,000
2009 Increase 338,000
2010 Decrease 265,000
2011 Decrease 224,000
2012 Increase 242,880
Source: Zweibrücken Airport[12]

Ground transportation[edit]

Zweibrücken Airport is only accessible by road. It can be reached via motorway A8 (exit Contwig, Flughafen, Bitche (F)) which leads to Saarbrücken and Luxembourg and from France directly via federal highway L700.[13] Additionally, the local bus route 226 connects the airport with Zweibrücken city centre including Zweibrücken station.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]