Berlin Schönefeld Airport

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"Berlin-Schönefeld" redirects here. For the suburban municipality, see Schönefeld.
Berlin Schönefeld Airport
Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld
SXF Logo.svg
Berlin - Schonefeld (SXF - EDDB) AN0581722.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH
Serves Berlin, Germany
Location Schönefeld
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 157 ft / 48 m
Coordinates 52°22′43″N 013°31′14″E / 52.37861°N 13.52056°E / 52.37861; 13.52056Coordinates: 52°22′43″N 013°31′14″E / 52.37861°N 13.52056°E / 52.37861; 13.52056
SXF is located in Berlin
Location relative to Berlin
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07L/25R 3,600 11,881 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 7,097,274[1]
Sources: German AIP at EUROCONTROL[2]

Berlin Schönefeld Airport (About this sound Flughafen Berlin Schönefeld ) (IATA: SXFICAO: EDDB) is an international airport located directly at the southern border of Berlin, the capital of Germany, and 18 km (11 mi) southeast[2] of its city centre near the town of Schönefeld. It is the smaller of the two airports in Berlin after Berlin Tegel Airport and serves as a base for Condor and easyJet.

Schönefeld was the major civil airport of East Germany (GDR), and the only airport serving East Berlin. It will be merged into Berlin Brandenburg Airport when it opens in 2017 or later.[3]


Construction of Interflug's new maintenance hangar in 1961
Eastern bloc airlines TAROM, Aeroflot and Interflug in 1990

First years and World War II[edit]

Schönefeld airport was opened on 15 October 1934 to accommodate the Henschel aircraft plant. By the end of the Second World War, over 14,000 aircraft had been built. On 22 April 1945, the airport was occupied by Soviet troops, and the aircraft construction facilities were either dismantled or blown up. By late 1947, the airport rail link had been repaired and agricultural machinery was built and repaired on the site. In 1946, the Soviet Air Forces moved from Johannisthal Air Field to Schönefeld, including the civil airline Aeroflot. In 1947, the Soviet Military Administration in Germany approved the construction of a civilian airport at the site.

Between 1947 and 1990, Schönefeld airport was renamed on several occasions and finally became the main airport of the DDR (Zentralflughafen).

A stipulation of the Four Power Agreement following World War II was a total ban on German carriers' participation in air transport to Berlin, where access was restricted to US, British, French and Soviet airlines. Since Schönefeld airport was located outside of the city boundaries of Berlin, this restriction did not apply. Thus, aircraft of the East German flag carrier Interflug could use Schönefeld airport, while West German Lufthansa was denied access to Tegel or Tempelhof airports.

Development after German reunification[edit]

Berlin Schönefeld Airport has seen a major increase in passenger numbers over recent years, which was caused by the opening of bases for both easyJet and Germanwings. In 2008, the airport served 6.6 million passengers.

Following German reunification in 1990, operating three separate airports became increasingly cost prohibitive, leading the Berlin legislature to pursue plans for a single airport that would be more efficient and would decrease the amount of aircraft noise from airports within the city. Therefore, it was decided to build Berlin Brandenburg Airport at the current site of Schönefeld Airport, originally scheduled to open in late 2012. For various reasons, mainly issues with the fire alarm/safety system, the opening has been postponed to 2016 or later.

The new airport will share only one runway with the existing one – the current runway will become the north runway of the new airport. Most of the old Schönefeld Airport, including the terminal and apron areas, will undergo complete urban redevelopment following its closure. Part of the old apron area will be used by the future new passenger terminal of the German government used for state visits and other state flight operations.[4]

At the start of the winter season in 2012 Germanwings left Schönefeld for Berlin-Tegel to maintain closer operations within the Lufthansa Group there.[5] However, to provide competition for Ryanair's new routes, Germanwings announced a return to Schönefeld in addition to their Tegel operations from October 2015.[6]

Aer Lingus also announced it would switch airports within Berlin, from Schönefeld to Tegel, by March 2015.[7] Meanwhile, Ryanair announced the establishment of their sixth German base in Schönefeld by 27 October 2015 by deploying five aircraft to the airport and adding 16 new routes.[8]

On 2 May 2015, the first planes departing from the airport inaugurated the southern runway of nearby Berlin Brandenburg Airport as Schönefeld's only runway - which will also be the northern runway of the new airport.[9]


Schönefeld Airport consists of the four terminals - A, B, C and D[10] for check-in. Terminals A, B and D are connected through their jointly used airside concourse. Due to a lack of space there are not as many facilities as would be found at many other international airports. However, there are some shops, including duty free, and also some restaurants, including a branch of Burger King and private airline lounges.

Terminals A and B[edit]

Main building of Terminals A and B

The main building is the original part of the airport. It houses check-in for Terminals A and B. Terminal A features check-in counters A01–A18, with the largest user being Ryanair alongside several other airlines like Aeroflot. Terminal B, located in a side wing, was originally reserved for transit passengers to and from West Berlin who took advantage of cheaper air fares and package tours arranged by an East German travel agency. Nowadays, it is used exclusively by EasyJet with check-in counters B20–B29. The airside consists of three jet bridges as well as several walk-boarding aircraft stands located at Pier 3a, an extension that was opened in 2005.

Terminal C[edit]

Terminal C was originally built to accommodate flights to Israel. It was reconfigured in 2008 and now handles sightseeing trips and flights in connection with special events.[11] It has no direct connection to Terminals A, B and D and does not handle scheduled services.

Terminal D[edit]

Terminal D was opened in December 2005 due to rapidly growing passenger numbers. Being nearly identical to Terminal C at Berlin Tegel Airport, it features check-in counters D40–D57, which are mainly used by Condor and Norwegian Air Shuttle. It does not feature jet bridges but several walk-boarding stands.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Berlin Schönefeld Airport:[12]

Airlines Destinations Check-in
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo A
operated by Rossiya Airlines
Saint Petersburg A
Air Algérie Seasonal: Algiers A
Air VIA Seasonal charter: Burgas, Varna D
Astra Airlines Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion D
Belavia Minsk-National A
Bulgarian Air Charter Seasonal charter: Burgas, Varna D
Condor Antalya, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Hurghada, Tenerife-South
Seasonal: Corfu, Dalaman, Heraklion, Kos, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes
easyJet[13] Agadir, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Basel/Mulhouse, Bordeaux (begins 27 March 2016), Bristol, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Geneva, Glasgow-International, Larnaca, Lisbon, Liverpool, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Southend (ends 22 February 2016),[14] Lyon, Málaga, Manchester, Marrakech, Milan-Malpensa, Naples, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Orly, Pisa, Pristina (begins 27 March 2016), Salzburg, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Tenerife-South, Thessaloniki, Venice-Marco Polo, Vienna[15]
Seasonal: Cagliari, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Faro, Heraklion, Olbia, Rhodes, Split, Toulouse (begins 10 May 2016)
A, B
EgyptAir Cairo A
Freebird Airlines Charter: Antalya A
Germania Beirut, Paphos, Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Seasonal: Antalya, Bodrum, Bourgas, Hurghada, Ibiza, Tenerife-South
Germanwings Cologne/Bonn, Stuttgart[6] D
Norwegian Air Shuttle Barcelona, Bergen, Copenhagen, Gran Canaria, London-Gatwick, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda, Tenerife-South, Trondheim
Seasonal: Stavanger
D Seasonal: Leeds/Bradford D
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: Antalya
Ryanair Alicante, Athens, Barcelona, Bari, Bergamo, Bologna, Bratislava, Brussels, Cologne/Bonn, Dublin, East Midlands, Glasgow-International, London-Stansted, Madrid, Málaga, Malta (begins 3 April 2016),[16] Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa (begins 1 April 2016),[17] Porto, Riga, Rome-Ciampino, Shannon, Tenerife-South, Timișoara (begins 2 November 2016),[18] Toulouse (begins 1 November 2016),[19] Treviso, Valencia
Seasonal: Zadar (begins 4 April 2016)
TAP Portugal Lisbon A
Tunisair Djerba, Enfidha A
operated by El Al
Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion D
Wizz Air Cluj-Napoca (begins 22 July 2016),[20] Skopje (begins 21 March 2016)[21] D
WOW air Reykjavík-Keflavík D


Airlines Destinations
FedEx Feeder
operated by ASL Airlines Ireland
Gdańsk, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
West Air Sweden Cologne/Bonn

Other facilities[edit]

The head office of Private Wings is located in the General Aviation Terminal (Allgemeine Luftfahrt) on the property of Schönefeld Airport.[22][23][24] Before its demise, the East German airline company Interflug had its headquarters on the airport property.[25][26]


Interior view of Terminal A
A WOW air Airbus A320-200 at Berlin Schönefeld Airport with Berlin Brandenburg Airport in the background
2000 2,209,444
2001 Decrease 1,915,110
2002 Decrease 1,688,028
2003 Increase 1,750,921
2004 Increase 3,382,106
2005 Increase 5,075,172
2006 Increase 6,059,343
2007 Increase 6,331,191
2008 Increase 6,638,162
2009 Increase 6,797,158
2010 Increase 7,297,911
2011 Decrease 7,113,989
2012 Decrease 7,097,274
2013 Decrease 6,727,306
2014 Increase 7.292.517
Source: ADV[27]

Ground transportation[edit]


The airport's railway station

Berlin Schönefeld Airport is served by Berlin Schönefeld Flughafen railway station, a short walking distance away from the airport terminal. Berlin S-Bahn lines S9 and S45 each run every twenty minutes. The Regional-Express (RE) AirportExpress train is the only direct link to the city centre of Berlin. It runs every 30 minutes, and stops at the most important stations of Berlin, including Berlin Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Central Station (after 30 minutes), and Zoologischer Garten railway station.


The airport can be reached via the nearby motorway A113 (Exit Schönefeld Süd) which itself is connected to motorways A100 which leads to Berlin city center and A110 which circles around Berlin and connects further to all directions.


The airport is linked by local BVG bus lines 162 (towards Adlershof) and 171 (towards Neukölln). Additionally the X7 bus service provides a connection to the Berlin U-Bahn network at Rudow Station[28] At night, the underground replacement bus N7 is available.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

German Democratic Republic era
  • On 14 August 1972, an Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft of Interflug (registered DM-SEA) crashed near Königs Wusterhausen shortly into a flight to Burgas, killing all 156 passenger and crew on board.
  • On 22 November 1977, a Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft of Interflug (registration DM-SCM) crashed upon landing at Schönefeld Airport due to a falsely configured autopilot. There were no fatalities among the 74 passenger and crew, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.[29]
  • On 19 August 1978, LOT Polish Airlines Flight 165, a LOT flight from Gdansk Airport to Schönefeld (carried out on a Tupolev Tu-134, registration SP-LGC),was hijacked and forced to land at Tempelhof Airport in West Berlin, thus having been used as a means for escaping the Eastern Bloc. In these cases, perpetrators were usually not charged by Western authorities.[30]
  • On 12 December 1986, an Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-134 (registration CCCP-65795) coming from Minsk Airport crashed in Berlin Bohnsdorf on its approach towards Schönefeld airport, after having attempted to land on a runway that was temporary blocked for construction work, killing 72 of the 82 passengers and crew on board.[31]
  • On 17 June 1989, an Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft of Interflug (registration DDR-SEW) bound for Moscow crashed shortly after take-off into a field near the airport and caught fire. 21 people on board as well as one person on the ground were killed. The East German authorities feared an act of sabotage due to the anniversary of the East German uprising, which led to a delayed aid for injured people. West German rescuers offering help were denied access to the scene. The cause for the accident was later given as a jammed rudder due to a manufacturing defect.[32]
Federal Republic of Germany era
  • On 28 March 2000, a Boeing 737-300 of Germania (registration D-AGES) operating a charter flight on behalf of LTU from Tenerife South Airport to Schönefeld was the subject of an attempted hijack in mid-flight. A passenger forced his way into the cockpit, where he attacked the pilot, leading to a sudden loss of altitude. The perpetrator was restrained and the flight continued to Berlin.[33]
  • On 19 June 2010, a 1944-built, historic Douglas DC-3 D-CXXX of Berlin Air Services crashed shortly after take off on a local sightseeing flight, causing 7 injuries but no fatalities.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual Report 2012" (PDF). 
  2. ^ a b "EAD Basic". 
  3. ^ "The future lies in Schoenefeld". 
  4. ^ "Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg: Regierungsterminal in der Warteschleife | Hauptstadtflughafen – Berliner Zeitung" (in German). 
  5. ^ "Germanwings zieht nach Berlin-Tegel". 4 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Germanwings stellt sich Konkurrenz durch Ryanair". Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Aer Lingus to switch Berlin flights from Schönefeld to Tegel". ch-aviation. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Ryanair will mit Basis in Berlin Fluggastzahlen deutlich steigern". Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  9. ^ " - Luftfahrt-Nachrichten und -Community". Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Schönefeld Airport layout". 
  11. ^ Event and Show Terminal C Archived 5 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ - Schedule
  17. ^
  18. ^ Ryanair Plans To Open First Base In Romania In November
  19. ^ "Ryanair Opens Toulouse Service from Nov 2016". airlineroute. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  20. ^ - "Wizzair starts Schönefeld" (German) 15 October 2015
  21. ^ Wizz Air begin Skopje-Berlin flights
  22. ^ "Anfahrt GAT Schönefeld." Private Wings. Retrieved on 7 January 2013.
  23. ^ "Access Business Aviation Center/GAT." Private Wings. Retrieved on 7 January 2013.
  24. ^ "Imprint." Private Wings. Retrieved on 7 January 2013. "Postal adress: [sic] PRIVATE WINGS Flugcharter GmbH Chief executive officers: Peter Paul Gatz und Andreas Wagner Flughafen Berlin – Schönefeld 12521 Berlin, Germany" and "Delivery address: Private Wings Flugcharter GmbH Waßmannsdorfer Straße 12529 Schönefeld (ehemals Diepensee)"
  25. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 26 March 1988. 82. "Head Office: DDR-1189, Berlin-Schönefeld Flughafen, German Democratic Republic."
  26. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 26 March 1970. 484. "Head Office: Zentralflughafen. Berlin-Schonefeld, 1189. German Democratic Republic."
  27. ^ Flughafenverband ADV. "Flughafenverband ADV – Unsere Flughäfen: Regionale Stärke, Globaler Anschluss". Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  28. ^ "Berlin bus lines. Retrieved 23 December 2009". 
  29. ^ "Interflug accident of 1977 at the Aircraft Accident Database. Retrieved 23 December 2009". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  30. ^ "LOT highjacking at the Aircraft Accident Database. Retrieved 23 December 2009". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  31. ^ "Aeroflot accident of 1986 at the Aviation Accident Database. Retrieved 23 December 2009". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  32. ^ "Interflug accident of 1989 at the Aviation Accident Database. Retrieved 23 December 2009". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  33. ^ "Germania attempted highjacking at the Aircraft Accident Database. Retrieved 23 December 2009". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  34. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Berlin Schönefeld Airport at Wikimedia Commons